February 27, 2023

Harrell Obtains Summary Judgment Ruling in Disability Discrimination Case

Shareholder, Daniel E. Harrell

Pensacola, FL – On February 2, 2023, Judge Allen Winsor of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida entered an Order granting a motion for summary judgment in favor of our client in a case in which the plaintiff asserted allegations of disability discrimination and retaliation. Clark Partington employment litigator, Daniel Harrell, managed this case on behalf of the firm. In this case, the plaintiff suffered from a condition that resulted in blindness. Our client worked with the plaintiff to provide a leave of absence as an accommodation, but the plaintiff was unable to return to work after a period of six months and unable to provide a definitive time frame in which he would be able to return to work. As a result, our client made the difficult decision to terminate the plaintiff’s employment. After filing a charge of discrimination and receiving a “for cause” determination from the Florida Commission on Human Relations, the plaintiff filed suit against our client alleging disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, and retaliation. Harrell successfully argued that the Court should enter judgment in favor of the defendant for two reasons: (1) the plaintiff’s requests for an additional leave, part-time work or remote work as an accommodation were not reasonable under the facts of the case and, therefore, the plaintiff was not “qualified” for the position as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Florida Civil Rights Act; and (2) the defendant presented a legitimate, non-discriminatory, non-retaliatory reason for its termination decision and the plaintiff could present not sufficient evidence to demonstrate that such a reason was a pretext for either discrimination or retaliation. Along with the Order granting the motion for summary judgment, the Court entered final judgment in favor of our client.

Daniel E. Harrell practices general litigation with a focus on labor and employment law.  His experience includes: Title VII actions involving race, gender and national origin discrimination, as well as sexual harassment, hostile work environment, constructive discharge and retaliation claims; claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act; Fair Labor Standards Act single-plaintiff and collective actions; ERISA actions alleging breaches of fiduciary duties; and union negotiations, disputes and arbitrations. Daniel regularly provides day-to-day advice and counseling to clients regarding compliance with various state and federal employment laws.  Daniel frequently litigates the enforcement of non-compete agreements and other similar restrictive covenants.  In addition, Daniel has significant general civil litigation experience that includes: insurance coverage dispute litigation; commercial fraud litigation; FINRA and AAA arbitrations; and appellate matters.

About Clark Partington:

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