Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Stewart v. Snohomish County PUD No. 1

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

May 9, 2017

CYNTHIA STEWART, Plaintiff,
v.
SNOHOMISH COUNTY PUD NO. 1

          PROPOSED PRERETRIAL ORDER

         I. JURISDICTION

         This court has original jurisdiction over Plaintiffs claims brought under 29 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq. and 28 U.S.C. § 1331. This court has supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiffs state law claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1367.

         II. CLAIMS AND DEFENSES

         Plaintiff will pursue the following claims at trial:

         1. A claim against Defendant Snohomish County PUD No. 1 for interfering with Plaintiff Cynthia Stewart's rights provided under the Family Medical Leave Act.

         2. A claim against Defendant Snohomish County PUD No. 1 for interfering with Plaintiff Cynthia Stewart's rights provided under the Washington Family Leave Act.

         3. A claim against Defendant Snohomish County PUD No. 1 for failing to accommodate Plaintiff Cynthia Stewart's disability and discriminating against her because of her disability in violation of the Washington Law Against Discrimination.

         The defendant denies all of plaintiff s claims and will pursue the following defenses at trial:

         1. The plaintiff failed to mitigate her alleged damages, if any.

         2. The plaintiffs alleged damages, if any, were caused, or are attributable to, her own acts or omissions, or the acts or omissions of persons or entities other than the defendant.

         3. The plaintiffs claims may be barred in whole or part by the doctrine of after-acquired evidence.

         4. Any act or omission by the defendant alleged to have given rise to the plaintiffs Complaint was in good faith, was based on legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons, and was based on reasonable factors other than any alleged disability or protected reason.

         5. Any act or omission by the defendant alleged to have given rise to the plaintiffs Complaint was job-related and consistent with business necessity.

         6. The defendant's actions toward the plaintiff were taken based on bona fide occupational qualifications.

         7. To the extent that a reasonable accommodation could not be made, the defendant specifically pleads the affirmative defense of undue hardship.

         8. The defendant's decision with regard to the plaintiffs employment would have been the same regardless of the plaintiffs use of FMLA or any other medical leave.

         III. ADMITTED FACTS

         1. The PUD's Fitness for Duty policy (Directive 52) and reasonable suspicion training do not specifically address "reasonable accommodations" or "the interactive process."

         2. Ms. Stewart worked for the PUD for approximately 23 years as a customer service representative. During the relevant time period, Ms. Stewart was employed at the PUD's satellite office in Snohomish, Washington until January 9, 2015, when she was transferred to the PUD's main office in Everett, Washington.

         3. On April 25, 2014, the PUD approved Ms. Stewart's request for intermittent FMLA leave, formalizing the accommodations that it had made for Ms. Stewart for years. Pursuant to this approval and a later re-approval of a revised FMLA leave request from Ms. Stewart, Ms. Stewart took FMLA leave on an intermittent basis during the remainder of her employment at the PUD.

         4. At some point on October 17, 2014, Mr. Janisko called fellow manager John Gregory to request assistance in determining whether there was reasonable suspicion that Ms. Stewart was impaired.

         5. Mr. Janisko and Mr. Gregory signed the Reasonable Suspicion checklist on October 17, 2014 (Plaintiff s Proposed Exhibit 24).

         6. The PUD placed Ms. Stewart on paid administrative leave starting October 17, 2014, while it waited for the results of the reasonable suspicion testing to come back.

         7. Ms. Stewart signed a Return to Work Agreement on December 16, 2014.

         8. Effective December 17, 2014, the PUD issued an amended approval of intermittent FMLA leave to Ms. Stewart.

         9. On the morning of April 7, 2015, Ms. Stewart took intermittent FMLA leave to receive treatment from Dr. Philip O. Smith. When she returned to work, her manager, Sarah Scott, met with Ms. Stewart to discuss Ms. Stewart's vacation leave balance, which was insufficient to cover an upcoming planned vacation.

         10. On the afternoon of April 7, 2015, Ms. Stewart participated in a fact-finding meeting with Sarah Scott, other managers, her shop steward, and Sara Kurtz, from Employee Resources. During this meeting, Ms. Stewart was informed she would be referred to U.S. Healthworks for reasonable suspicion drug testing.

         11. The PUD placed plaintiff on paid administrative leave effective April 7, 2015.

         12. The PUD provided Ms. Stewart with a Proposed Termination letter, dated April 15, 2015. (Plaintiffs Proposed Exhibit 47).

         13. The medical review officer (MRO) determination of Ms. Stewart's April 7, 2015 drug screening reflected a "Drug Screen Result" of "Negative, " with a "Safety sensitive concern for potentially sedating medications." 14. Ms. Stewart responded to the PUD's April 15, 2015 letter with a letter to PUD Assistant General Manager Jim West and Employee Resources Director Jim Little. (Plaintiffs Proposed Exhibit 48).

         15. The PUD sent Ms. Stewart a Notice of Termination Letter on May 4, 2015. (Plaintiffs Proposed Exhibit 50).

         16. The PUD terminated Ms. Stewart's employment on May 4, 2015.

         17. At the time the PUD terminated Ms. Stewart's employment, she was a full-time status employee, and her rate of pay was $31.96 per hour. She was a member of the Public Employees' Retirement System Plan 2, a defined benefit pension plan.

         18. In June 2016, the Weekend Customer Service Representative position became available. The person whom the PUD awarded the position to had lower seniority than Ms. Stewart at the time the PUD terminated Ms. Stewart's employment. In June 2016, the hourly pay for that position was $41.06 per hour.

         IV. ISSUES OF LAW

         Ms. Stewart believes that the evidence at trial will permit the Court to resolve the following issues as a matter of law that have not already been addressed through the Court's orders:

         1. Was Ms. Stewart's disability a substantial factor in the PUD's decision to terminate her employment?

         2. Did the PUD have notice of Ms. Stewart's disability?

         The PUD proposes the following issues of law:

         1. Was Ms. Stewart a qualified individual with a disability under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) because of her reported migraine condition?

         2. Was Ms. Stewart a qualified individual with a disability under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) because of the side effects of her prescription medication?

         3. Did the PUD reasonably accommodate Ms. Stewart's disability or disabilities?

         4. Did the PUD terminate Ms. Stewart's employment because of a disability or disabilities under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD)?

         5. Did Ms. Stewart have a "serious health condition" under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or Washington Family Leave Act (WFLA)?

         6. Did the PUD interfere with any substantive right that Ms. Stewart had under the FMLA/WFLA?

         7. Would it be an undue hardship for the PUD to permit Ms. Stewart to come to work while impaired?

         8. Did the PUD terminate Ms. Stewart's employment for legitimate nondiscriminatory reasons?

         9. Does the PUD's Fitness for Duty Directive express a bona fide occupational qualification that justified the termination of Ms. Stewart's employment?

         10. Did the PUD establish business necessity that justified the termination of Ms. Stewart's employment?

         11. Are Ms. Stewart's alleged damages, if any, offset or foreclosed by the after-acquired evidence doctrine, her failure to mitigate her alleged damages and/or any other ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.