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Scott v. Donahoe

United States District Court, C.D. California

August 21, 2014

WILLIAM L. SCOTT, Plaintiff,
PATRICK DONAHOE, Postmaster General, United States Postal Service, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, and Does 1-50, inclusive, Defendants.


RONALD S.W. LEW, Senior District Judge.

Currently before the Court is Defendants Patrick Donahoe ("Donahoe") and United States of America's (collectively, "Defendants") Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [34] filed July 14, 2014. Plaintiff William L. Scott ("Plaintiff") filed his Opposition on July 31, 2014 [37] and Defendants filed their Reply on August 6, 2014 [38]. This matter was taken under submission on August 7, 2014 [39]. Having reviewed all papers submitted pertaining to the Motion, and having considered all arguments presented to the Court, the Court NOW FINDS AND RULES AS FOLLOWS:

Defendants' Motion is hereby GRANTED.


A. Factual Background

Plaintiff was employed by the United States Postal Service ("USPS") from July 10, 1982 until January 30, 2012, June 30, 2012, or July 30, 2012 as a Mail Processing Clerk at the Compton Post Office. First Amended Compl.[1] ("FAC") ¶ 8. Plaintiff cased and spread mail including flats, worked the registered cage, and helped with unloading trucks when the workload was heavy. Id. at ¶ 14.

Defendant Patrick R. Donahoe, the Postmaster General of the USPS, operates the USPS. Id. at ¶ 9. Defendants Tyrone Williams and James Dear were Plaintiff's supervisors at the USPS. Id. at ¶¶ 12, 13.[2]

In 2005, Plaintiff suffered an injury to his right shoulder that ultimately rendered him "permanent and stationary." Id. at ¶ 15. Between 2006 and 2009, Plaintiff was under a 10 pound lifting restriction, with no pushing, pulling, or lifting above his shoulders. Id. at ¶ 23.

On November 7, 2008, Plaintiff received a Modified Limited Duty Job Assignment - specifically, he received a "Dutch door duty assignment." Id. at ¶ 16. Plaintiff alleges that the Dutch door duty assignment had been created for, assigned to, and performed by Plaintiff. Id . Plaintiff was given another "Dutch door duty assignment" on January 8, 2009. Id. at ¶ 17.

On April 21, 2009, Plaintiff alleges that the USPS wrongfully removed him from the "Dutch door assignment" and sent him home, claiming that it did not have any work available to him. Id. at ¶ 18. Plaintiff was told to return to work in two weeks. Id . Plaintiff alleges that since his "Dutch door assignment" was taken from him, the USPS improperly assigned these tasks to other employees. Id. at ¶ 31.

On May 11, 2009, after reporting back to work and working the "Dutch door assignment" for about 35 minutes, Plaintiff was told that there was no work available for him, was sent home, and was instructed to report back to work in two weeks. Id. at ¶ 20. On May 26, 2009, Plaintiff reported back to work, but was told by his supervisor, Tyrone Williams, to leave the Postal Service property and not to return unless instructed to do so. Id. at ¶ 21. Also on May 26, 2009, Plaintiff alleges that Tyrone Williams refused to meet with Plaintiff to discuss what work he could perform with respect to his disability. Id. at ¶ 25.

On June 2, 2009, the USPS Office of Workers' Compensation Programs ("OWCP") requested a medical update from Plaintiff. Id. at ¶ 26. Plaintiff's physician increased his lifting restrictions to 25 pounds. Id. at ¶ 27. On June 11, 2009, Plaintiff sent Ingrid McMillan, a USPS Injury Compensation staff member, copies of his physician's updated medical restrictions. Id. at ¶ 35. On June 26, 2009, Plaintiff sent McMillan a letter identifying the work at the Compton Post Office that was within his medical restrictions. Id. at ¶ 36. Plaintiff thereafter received notices from the USPS dated November 18, 2009 and December 21, 2009 that no work was available for him. Id. at ¶ 29, 39.

On February 5, 2010, Plaintiff received a letter from the USPS asking that he return to work. Id. at ¶¶ 29, 43. Plaintiff returned to work on February 8, 2010, and was given the "Dutch door assignment." Id. at ¶¶ 44, 45. On June 26, 2012, Plaintiff was confronted by one of his supervisors who ended the discussion with the threat, "What are you going to do about it?!" Id. at ¶ 50. Four days later, on June 30, 2012, Plaintiff retired from the USPS. Id. at ¶ 51.

Based on the above, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants violated the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ("Rehab Act"), 29 U.S.C. § 701, et seq., and the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq. More specifically, Plaintiff brings claims for: (1) Disparate Treatment, (2) Retaliation, (3) Failure to Accommodate and Engage in the Interactive Process, (4) Hostile Work Environment, and (5) Constructive Termination.[3] Id. at ¶¶ 63-99.

B. Procedural Background

Plaintiff filed his Complaint in this Action on May 31, 2013 [1]. He filed his FAC on July 31, 2013 [10]. The United States substituted in as the federal defendant in place of ...

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