Case name: Mack v. Georgetown University, No. 15‐793 (D. D.C. 09/27/17).Ruling: The U.S. District Court, District of Columbia granted summary judgment in favor of Georgetown University.What it means: Employers are not required to accommodate an employee by reassignment to her preferred position.Summary: Alita Mack [also spelled “Aleta” in the case] was hired as an executive assistant in the Georgetown University Department of Public Safety in February 2014. Her supervisor was Campus Police Chief Jay Gruber.Mack asked for 11 accommodations in June because of her diabetes. Those included a discrete environment to monitor her blood sugar level, an area to store her food and medication, and flexibility to schedule medical appointments.Those accommodations were put into effect in July.Ten days later, Mack complained of possible mold in her workspace. Georgetown discovered a mold spot and removed it.A few days after that, Mack submitted another disability accommodation form indicating she was suffering from a respiratory illness and requesting reassignment to another room. For the next few weeks, the university unsuccessfully attempted to get more information from Mack's treating physicians because she prohibited her doctors from communicating with Georgetown.In October, Mack again asked to be reassigned to another location. She was placed on unpaid leave in late November while the university searched for a vacant location where she could be transferred.In January 2015, Georgetown offered Mack a job as a recruiting coordinator. However, Mack failed to respond.A couple of weeks later, Georgetown extended a second offer to Mack for a recruiting coordinator job, and indicated that her failure to accept it by March 5 would result in her termination. Mack did not respond, and Georgetown fired her.Mack filed a suit claiming violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.The university filed a motion for summary judgment.Mack argued that she was qualified for the vacant position of human resources analyst, and the recruiting coordinator jobs were not equivalent to her current position. But the judge said the human resources position Mack had referred to was filled before Georgetown completed an evaluation of Mack's limitations during the interactive process.She granted summary judgment in favor of the university, explaining: (1) employers were not required to place a disabled employee in her preferred job or location and (2) the record was replete with examples of Georgetown's good‐faith efforts to find reasonable accommodations.
Campus Security Report – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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