United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE, District Judge.
This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Michael J. Hall & Company's ("Hall & Co.") motion for summary judgment (Dkt. 19). The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the motion and the remainder of the file and hereby grants the motion in part and denies it in part for the reasons stated herein.
I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On October 31, 2013, Plaintiff Donna Jansen ("Jansen") filed suit against Hall & Co. Dkt. 1. Jansen alleges that Hall & Co. (1) violated the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"), (2) failed to provide accommodations for her disability in violation of Washington's Law Against Discrimination ("WLAD"), and (3) wrongfully terminated her because of her disability in violation of the WLAD. Id.
On December 17, 2014, Hall & Co. moved for summary judgment. Dkt. 19. On January 5, 2015, Jansen replied. Dkt. 24. On January 9, 2015, Hall & Co. replied. Dkt. 29.
II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND
Hall & Co. is an insurance brokerage firm specializing in the placement of professional liability insurance. Dkt. 21, Declaration of Matthew Copus ("Copus Dec.") ¶ 2. Hall & Co. employs less than fifty employees. Copus Dec., Ex. A.
On October 1, 2007, Jansen began working at Hall & Co. as a customer service representative ("CSR"). Copus Dec. ¶ 3. As a CSR, Jansen provided customer service for the firm's clients. Id. Her duties included answering incoming calls, sending invoices to clients, answering questions, and filing claims. Dkt. 20, Declaration of Brittany Stevens ("Stevens Dec."), Ex. A ("Jansen Dep.") 29:2-17.
Prior to her employment at Hall & Co., Jansen suffered a severe spinal cord injury in an all-terrain vehicle accident. Dkt. 27, Declaration of Donna Jansen ("Jansen Dec.") ¶ 2. As a result of this injury, Jansen experiences leg spasms, chronic lower back pain, stiffness, and constipation issues. Jansen Dep. 136:14-137:14. Jansen notified employees at Hall & Co. about her spinal cord injury when she was hired. Jansen Dec. ¶ 4.
During her employment at Hall & Co., Jansen requested accommodations for her disability. Id. ¶ 5. Hall & Co. provided Jansen with an ergonomic keyboard, a special chair for her back, and time to stretch. Jansen Dep. 133:8-134:19.
Throughout her employment, Jansen was expected to work from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Copus Dec. ¶ 4. Hall & Co. employed only three CSRs. Id. If one CSR was absent or late, the other two CSRs would fill in to provide service to Hall & Co.'s clients. Id.
Between 2011 and 2012, Jansen's attendance at work was sporadic. Jansen Dep. 82:9-12. Jansen was late to work at least sixty-five times, and she left work early at least twenty-one times. Stevens Dec., Ex. B; Copus Dec. ¶ 5. Jansen was late to work for reasons related to her disability. Jansen Dec. ¶ 9. Sometimes Jansen needed to come in late because her leg spasms had kept her awake at night or because she had constipation issues in the morning. Id.; Jansen Dep. 70:1-3, 81:24-82:5. Jansen was also late due to annual doctor's visits, court hearings, traffic, weather, problems with her alarm clock, her dog running away, and financial problems. Jansen Dep. 69:2-18, 70:1-5, 103:20-21, 104:2-7, 109:6-24, 110:18-112:8; Jansen Dec. ¶¶ 8, 13.
Hall & Co.'s senior producer, Matthew Copus ("Copus"), and Head of Administration, Krysten Bernal ("Bernal") had informal conversations with Jansen about arriving after 8:00 am. Copus Dec. ¶ 5; Dkt. 23, Declaration of Krysten Bernal ("Bernal Dec.") ¶ 4. Jansen told Copus and Bernal that her leg spasms and constipation issues were the reason she was late to work. Jansen Dec. ¶ 9; Copus Dec. ¶ 6. Jansen also told them that she was late to work due to problems with her son, the breakdown of her marriage, and various financial problems. Copus Dec. ¶ 6.
Jansen continued to arrive late and leave early. Copus Dec. ¶ 5; Bernal Dec. ¶ 4. In August 2012, Copus and Bernal decided to place Jansen on probation due to her poor attendance. Copus Dec. ¶¶ 7-8; Bernal Dec. ¶¶ 5-6. On August 28, 2012, Copus, Bernal, and Aime Carroll ("Carroll") met with Jansen to discuss the terms of her probation. Bernal Dec. ¶ 6. Jansen's hours ...