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United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
May 10, 1994, Argued ; August 3, 1994, Decided
WILKINSON, Circuit Judge:
The question in this case is whether an employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., by discharging a disabled employee who was frequently absent from work due to her disability and the disability of a family member. Because plaintiff was unable to meet the attendance requirements of her job, despite her employer's efforts to accommodate her disabling condition, we hold that she was not a "qualified individual with a disability" protected by the ADA. See 42 U.S.C. § 12112(a). In addition, we find that [**2] plaintiff failed to overcome the strong inference of non-discrimination arising from the fact that the same individual who discharged her had hired her with full knowledge of her disability only two years earlier. We accordingly affirm the district court's grant of summary judgment to the employer.
Plaintiff Mary Tyndall suffers from lupus erythematosus, an auto-immune system disorder that causes joint pain and inflammation, fatigue, and urinary and intestinal disorders. In 1989, Tyndall enrolled in a career training program in medical assisting at the Kee Business College Campus ("Kee"), a school in Richmond, Virginia owned by defendant National Education Centers ("NEC"). Tyndall successfully completed her coursework in January 1990. At that time, Dale Seay, the head of Kee's Allied Health Department, hired Tyndall as a parttime instructor in the medical assisting program. Seay and the other Kee staff members knew of Tyndall's disability when she was hired.
During Tyndall's tenure at Kee, the school made every effort to accommodate her lupus condition. Kee permitted Tyndall to take sick leave, to come into work late or leave early, and to take breaks from ongoing classes whenever [**3] she felt ill. If Tyndall became ill during the work day, Seay and other colleagues would accompany her to the rest room to help her, and would offer her a ride home. Indeed, Tyndall admitted that she never made a request for accommodation of her lupus condition that Kee refused.
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31 F.3d 209 *; 1994 U.S. App. LEXIS 20163 **; 3 Am. Disabilities Cas. (BNA) 868
MARY M. TYNDALL, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. NATIONAL EDUCATION CENTERS, INCORPORATED OF CALIFORNIA, t/a Kee Business College Campus; NATIONAL EDUCATION CENTERS, INCORPORATED, Defendants-Appellees.
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, at Richmond. Robert R. Merhige, Jr., Senior District Judge. (CA-93-369).
disability, termination, reasonable accommodation, attendance, accommodate, discriminate, hired, lupus, qualified individual, teaching, essential function, leave of absence, take care, nondiscrimination, contends, missed
Business & Corporate Compliance, Disability Discrimination, Scope & Definitions, Covered Entities, Labor & Employment Law, Employment Practices, Discharges & Failures to Hire, Civil Rights Law, Protection of Disabled Persons, Americans With Disabilities Act, Scope, General Overview, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Employee Burdens of Proof, Labor & Employment Law, Discrimination, Accommodation, Reasonable Accommodations, Qualified Individuals With Disabilities