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said she could submit any supplementary medical
materials to SUNY’s “Conﬁdentiality Ofﬁcer.” In-
stead, she supplied him with proof that the SUNY
Student-Employee Health Service had cleared her
to return to work.
Parker denied Harrison’s sick leave request.
Harrison allegedly complained to SUNY on mul-
tiple occasions regarding Parker’s decision, stating
that providing any additional information would vi-
olate her right to medical privacy. On Feb. 9, SUNY
terminated Harrison, allegedly because her com-
plaints were “causing problems.”
Harrison ﬁled a suit asserting a violation of the
SUNY ﬁled a motion to dismiss.
The district judge said the Rehabilitation Act
prohibited SUNY from making inquiries of an em-
ployee about a disability unless those inquiries
were consistent with business necessity.
Because Harrison had alleged that she had been
cleared to return to work by both her doctor and
SUNY’s employee health unit, the judge decided
she had adequately stated a claim.
SUNY argued that Parker’s inquiries were con-
sistent with business necessity because they were
meant to: (1) ensure that the workplace was safe
and secure and (2) cut down on egregious absen-
teeism during the holiday season.
But the judge said there was nothing to suggest
Harrison had: (1) attendance issues, (2) previously
abused her leave, or (3) been unable to perform her
duties after being cleared to return to work by her
doctor and the employee health unit. Although the
judge dismissed other portions of the suit, she al-
lowed the Rehabilitation Act claim to continue. ■
Judge tosses disability suit
for failure to timely complain
Case name: Martin v. Southern Illinois Univer-
sity School of Medicine, No. 16-CV-3294 (C.D. Ill.
Ruling: The U.S. District Court, Central District
of Illinois granted a summary judgment in favor
of Southern Illinois University, which the plaintiff
had improperly named “Southern Illinois Univer-
sity School of Medicine.”
What it means: In a suit claiming a failure to
accommodate a disability, there is usually no li-
ability if the plaintiff did not request a particular
accommodation, or did not provide sufﬁcient infor-
mation to determine what might be reasonable.
Summary: Antonio Martin was admitted to the
Southern Illinois University medical school as a ﬁrst-
year student for the 2012–13 academic year even
though he had attention deﬁcit hyperactivity disorder.
After he received grades of “unsatisfactory” in
two courses, Martin was granted a leave of absence
for the remainder of the academic year.
When he returned to SIU in 2013 to attempt the
ﬁrst year of medical school again, he only request-
ed extended time on tests.
That accommodation was granted.
In June 2015, after Martin received “unsatisfacto-
ry” grades in multiple courses, the student progress
committee convened a hearing to consider Martin’s
dismissal for unsatisfactory academic performance.
After Martin was dismissed from the program,
he ﬁled a suit claiming that SIU failed to properly
accommodate his disability.
The university ﬁled a motion for summary judgment.
The district judge said the record showed that
no student with a record of academic performance
similar to Martin’s had ever been permitted to re-
main in the program. He also noted that Martin
had been granted his only requested accommoda-
tion of extended time on tests in his two attempts
to complete the ﬁrst year of medical school.
She granted summary judgment in favor of SIU. ■
Judge decides teacher can’t prove
disability was cause of termination
Case name: Faki v. The Board of Trustees of the
University of Alabama, No. 1:16-CV-0153 (N.D.
Ruling: The U.S. District Court, Northern Dis-
trict of Alabama granted summary judgment in fa-
vor of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
What it means: An employee suing a university
pursuant to the Rehabilitation Act must prove that
her disability was the sole cause of the adverse em-
Summary: In 1999, Belita Faki began working
as a nontenured Spanish instructor at the Univer-
sity of Alabama at Birmingham.
According to UAB, student evaluations beginning in
2011 consistently showed complaints about Faki being
unprepared, disrespectful to students, and a poor com-
municator. In addition, there were allegedly many gripes
about her attitude and her failure to adequately teach.
In 2015, Department Chair Julian Arribas de-
cided to decrease the number of Spanish classes
offered because enrollment had decreased.