United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Statesboro Division
GLYNN N. DAVIS, Plaintiff,
WAL-MART STORES EAST, LP Defendant.
plaintiff Glynn Davis alleges that her former employer,
WalMart Stores East, LP, discriminated against her based on
her disabilities, failed to accommodate her disabilities in
violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), then
retaliated against her when she complained. See doc.
1 at 3 & 4. The Court now screens Davis' Complaint
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915.
alleges that she worked as, and was qualified as, an
“Operator” from December 2007 through October
2014. Doc. 1 at 4-5; see also Id. at 16 (plaintiff
“was a qualified individual with such disability
(ities), possessing or meeting the legitimate skills,
experience, education or other requirements of the position
she occupied for almost 7 years”). She has several
impairments -- some work-related -- to her bilateral hands
and ankles, lower back, and left knee “which have
resulted in decreased mobility, functioning, and pain.”
Id. at 15 (“Such conditions substantially
limit or restrict [her] ability to walk, stand, bend, lift,
engage in repetitive manual labor, and or other activities
that may be simply taken for granted.”).
several years, she engaged with Workers' Compensation for
injuries sustained on the job and Walmart worked with her to
provide some accommodations to enable her to perform her job
duties. Id. at 17-22. She was terminated, and then
reinstated, in February 2015, and in May 2015 “suddenly
placed on [an] unpaid, undocumented, unrequested, [and]
unneeded leave of absence.” Id. at 22. From
that time through August 2016, Davis contends that Walmart
refused to reconsider her for any other position because
there was “nothing available within her restrictions or
ever expected to be.” Id. at 22-23. She was
officially terminated on August 8, 2016, and was considered a
“voluntary termination” because she had failed
“to return from [her] leave of absence.”
Id. at 23.
“[c]laims are brought . . . for disability
discrimination and retaliation with issues of reasonable
accommodation, terms and conditions (benefits), harassment,
and discharge along with the failure to engage in a good
faith interactive communication process at the appropriate
time.” Doc. 1 at 16. It appears that her claims are
timely and she has exhausted her administrative
remedies. Further, her individual ADA claims all
establish a prima facie case of disability
discrimination under the ADA, a plaintiff must demonstrate
that she (1) is disabled, (2) is a qualified individual, and
(3) was discriminated against on account of her disability.
42 U.S.C. §§ 12112(a); Frazier-White v.
Gee, 818 F.3d 1249, 1255 (11th Cir. 2016); Wood v.
Green, 323 F.3d 1309, 1312 (11th Cir. 2003). A
“disability” is defined as, among other things, a
“physical or mental impairment that substantially
limits one or more of the major life activities of an
individual.” 42 U.S.C. § 12102(2). A
“qualified individual with a disability” is
defined as an “individual with a disability who, with
or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the
essential functions of the employment position that such
individual holds or desires.” 42 U.S.C. §
23222(8). And the failure to reasonably accommodate a
disability can be evidence of unlawful discrimination.
Holly v. Clairson Indus., LLC, 492 F.3d 1247,
1262-63 (11th Cir. 2007). Here, Davis alleges that she
suffers from (and Walmart knew about) various physical
impairments that substantially limited her major life
activities, that she was otherwise qualified for her work,
and that Walmart failed to reasonably accommodate her
disabilities. That is enough for Davis' discrimination
claim to survive screening.
establish a claim for failure to reasonably accommodate a
disability, a plaintiff must prove: (1) she has a disability
within the meaning of the statute; (2) defendant had notice
of her disability; (3) with a reasonable accommodation she
could perform the essential functions of her position; and
[(4)] the defendant refused to make such accommodations. An
employer must provide reasonable accommodations for employees
with known disabilities unless the accommodations would cause
undue hardship to the employer. Earl v. Mervyns,
Inc., 207 F.3d 1361, 1365 (11th Cir. 2000). Here, Davis
has alleged she has disabilities within the meaning of the
ADA, Walmart knew about them, with accommodation she was able
to perform several alternative jobs (including Operator and
cashier), and Walmart refused to do so. This claim too
survives the screening stage.
to establish a prima facie claim for retaliation, a
plaintiff must show that: (1) she engaged in a statutorily
protected expression, (2) she suffered an adverse employment
action, and (3) there was a causal link between the two.
Frazier-White, 818 F.3d at 1258. The first element
may be met by a request for a reasonable accommodation.
Id. The third element requires a showing of but-for
causation. Id. (citing Univ. of Tex. Sw. Med.
Ctr. v. Nassar, 133 S.Ct. 2517, 2533-34 (2013)). Here,
Davis requested reasonable accommodations to perform her work
(both as an Operator and in other positions), was refused any
alternative position, and was told that she would not be
reconsidered for employement because there was “nothing
available within her restrictions or ever expected to
be.” Id. at 22-23. That, too, is enough to
survive screening on this claim and warrant a response from
has pled enough facts for this Court to greenlight service of
her Complaint for discrimination, failure to accommodate, and
retaliation in violation of the ADA. Since the Court has
authorized in forma pauperis status, the United
States Marshals Service is DIRECTED to
effectuate service upon the defendant. Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(c)(3)
(the court “must” order that service be made by
the Marshal “if the plaintiff is authorized to proceed
plaintiffs Complaint is served upon the defendant, she must
then serve defendant (through its counsel, if it is
represented) with a copy of every additional pleading or
other document which she files with the Court. See
Fed. R. Civ. P. 5. She also shall include with each paper so
filed a certificate stating the date on which she mailed an
accurate copy of that paper to the defendant or its counsel.
This Court will disregard any papers submitted which have not
been properly filed with the Clerk or which do not include a
certificate of service.
Davis also must keep the Court and any defendant advised of
her current address at all times during the pendency of this
action. Failure to do so may result in dismissal of her
Complaint. She also must litigate this case, conduct and
respond to any discovery, and comply with both the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure and this Court's Local Rules,
both which are available online. See
 In cases where the plaintiff is
proceeding in forma pauperis, which the Court
granted here on indigency grounds, doc. 3, it is required to
screen each case, and must dismiss it at any time if the
Court determines either that the allegation of poverty is
untrue or that the action or appeal is frivolous or
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seeks ...