Vol. 23, Iss. 8
© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., A Wiley Company
All rights reserved
In September, Arribas and Dean Robert Palazzo
sent Faki to disability coordinator Sherri Moult-
rie after she told them for the ﬁrst time about
her autoimmune diseases. However, Moultrie
claimed Faki never supplied her with a complet-
ed “Employee Accommodation Request Form” or
medical documentation supporting her need for
In December, Arribas gave Faki written notice
that her employment would end in one year.
Faki ﬁled a suit claiming a violation of the Reha-
UAB ﬁled a motion for summary judgment.
The district judge said the Rehabilitation Act
required Faki to prove her disability was the sole
cause of being ﬁred. She then ruled that Faki’s dis-
ability was at most only one of the factors involved
in the decision because of: (1) the unfavorable stu-
dent evaluations and (2) the university’s need to re-
duce the overall number of Spanish classes.
The judge entered summary judgment in favor of
UAB, stating that no reasonable jury could ﬁnd in
favor of Faki. ■
Judge rules former employee
didn’t show disability bias
Case name: Heit v. Penn Dental Medicine, et al.,
No. 16-2929 (E.D. Pa. 11/29/17).
Ruling: The U.S. District Court, Eastern District
of Pennsylvania granted summary judgment in fa-
vor of the University of Pennsylvania.
What it means: A university cannot be guilty
of disability discrimination if it does not know the
nature and extent of the employee’s disability.
Summary: Marsha Heit became an academic co-
ordinator at the University of Pennsylvania Dental
School in 2008, and began directly reporting to Dr.
Dana Graves in 2015.
In July, Heit obtained intermittent time off pur-
suant to the Family and Medical Leave Act for the
period from August through October. In her appli-
cation for leave, Heit checked the boxes for “Se-
rious health condition that makes me unable to
work” and “Intermittent Leave.” However, she did
not specify her medical condition.
On Nov. 16, Heit stayed home sick from work.
However, her timesheet reﬂected that she had been
in the ofﬁce for eight hours on that day.
Suspecting that Heit might not have been in the
ofﬁce on Nov. 16, Human Resources Director Tony
Farero conducted an investigation that conﬁrmed
Farero and Graves ﬁred Heit on Nov. 30.
Heit ﬁled a suit that asserted several claims.
One of them was that her termination was in vi-
olation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In
her complaint, Heit alleged that the nature of her
disability was “back pain for which she had pre-
viously taken an approved leave of absence.” In
addition, Heit testiﬁed in her deposition that her
FMLA leave was for depression and anxiety caused
by the workplace.
Penn Dental ﬁled a motion for summary judg-
The district judge said Heit had failed to show
that her termination occurred as a result of dis-
ability discrimination. He explained that Heit never
told Graves or Farero what her medical conditions
were, or why she had requested FMLA leave.
The judge granted summary judgment in favor of
the university. ■
Disability Compliance for Higher Education Board of Advisors
Director, Office of Disability Services
Retired Director, Disability Resource Center
Clayton State University
Joseph A. LoGiudice
Director of The AccessAbility Center/
Student Disability Services,
City College of New York
Gail M. Zimmerman
Associate VP, Student Affairs
Keene State College
Ethics & Compliance Program Manager II,
Apollo Education Group
Maria G. Pena
Disability Resource Center
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Coordinator, Office for Academic Success,
Faculty, College of Education & Leadership
Education Director for Disability
Services and Financial Aid
Wisconsin Technical College System
Assistant Vice Chancellor,
Office of Accessible Education
and Counseling Services