United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division
W. FLANAGAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the court upon defendant's motion for
judgment on the pleadings (DE 12) and plaintiff's motion
to amend complaint (DE 20). The motions have been briefed
fully and the issues raised are ripe for ruling. For the
following reasons, defendant's motion is granted and
plaintiff's motion is denied.
OF THE CASE
commenced this action in Wake County Superior Court, on
November 30, 2018, asserting a claim against defendant, her
former employer, for discriminatory discharge in violation of
Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42
U.S.C. § 12112(a). Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages,
reinstatement, back pay, front pay, lost benefits,
attorney's fees, costs, and interest.
removed to this court on January 8, 2019, and filed the
instant motion for judgment on the pleadings on March 8,
2019. In support thereof, defendant relies upon
plaintiff's charge of discrimination filed with the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”)
(hereinafter, the “EEOC charge”). Plaintiff
responded in opposition to defendant's motion on March
29, 2019, and she filed the instant motion to amend complaint
on April 1, 2019, relying upon a proposed amended complaint
and redline showing changes proposed. Defendant filed a
combined response in opposition to the motion to amend and
reply in support of its motion on May 13, 2019. Plaintiff
replied in support of her motion to amend on May 28, 2019.
OF ALLEGED FACTS
facts alleged in the complaint may be summarized as follows.
Plaintiff began employment with defendant in 1988 as a staff
nurse in defendant's operating rooms. In early 2017,
plaintiff applied for a position in defendant's Patient
and Family Experience (“PFE”) Department. (Compl.
¶ 9). Plaintiff was hired as a “PFE Specialist,
” and began working in the position on April 12, 2017.
the time that [p]laintiff worked in the PFE Department, she
was directly supervised by Annie Brito [‘Brito'],
her team leader.” (Id. ¶ 10). Brito was,
among other things, responsible for training plaintiff and
other new PFE Department employees. According to plaintiff,
“Brito treated Plaintiff in a noticeably different
manner than she treated other employees.” (Id.
¶ 11). According to plaintiff, “Brito routinely
screamed at Plaintiff but did not scream at other
did not provide Plaintiff with adequate training and seemed
to resent Plaintiff.” (Id. ¶ 12).
“This failure to provide adequate training made it more
difficult for Plaintiff to successfully perform her job
duties.” (Id.). According to plaintiff, in
“June 2017, [Brito] and Terri Veneziale
[‘Veneziale'], the PFE Department Executive
Director, had a discussion about Plaintiff within earshot of
other PFE Department Employees, ” during which
“Brito and Veneziale speculated that Plaintiff had
some sort of learning disability or early onset
Alzheimer's.” (Id. ¶ 13).
July 2017, Veneziale and Susan McFarland
(“McFarland”), the PFE Department Manager,
allegedly told plaintiff “that they believed Plaintiff
had an auditory processing disorder, dyslexia and ADHD and
that Plaintiff should be tested for these conditions.”
(Id. ¶ 14). “Plaintiff agreed to utilize
Defendant's EAP program for such testing because she
wanted to keep her job as a PFE Specialist.”
(Id.). A licensed psychologist examined plaintiff on
August 10, 2017, and a follow-up was scheduled for August 29,
2017. (Id. ¶ 15).
and Brito told plaintiff on August 18, 2017, that she was
going to be terminated and also advised plaintiff to resign.
On August 21, 2017, plaintiff submitted a notice of
resignation, and was, according to plaintiff,
“effectively discharged from her PFE Specialist
position.” (Id. ¶ 18). Results of
plaintiff's psychological testing received after
discharge “showed that Plaintiff did not have ADHD or
any other learning disabilities.” (Id. ¶
January 29, 2018, plaintiff filed her EEOC charge, alleging
that defendant had discharged plaintiff on account of her
perceived disability. (Id. ¶ 21; see
EEOC charge (DE 13-1)).