United States District Court, D. Arizona
DOUGLAS L. RAYES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is ASIC North's motion for summary judgment,
which is fully briefed. (Docs. 43, 46, 49, 56). ASIC North's
motion for summary judgment is granted, as described below.
case arises from Plaintiff Kevin Glass's employment and
termination at ASIC North. Mr. Glass began employment as a
Senior Circuit Design Engineer with ASIC North, a design
house and staffing company, on January 12, 2016. (Doc. 43-10
at 2.) On May 18, 2016, Integrated Circuit Design Manager
Jeff Jorvig issued a written warning to Mr. Glass, citing
performance concerns. (Doc. 43-14.) This written warning
placed Mr. Glass on a 30-day Performance Improvement Plan
(“PIP”). The PIP assigned Mr. Glass an
engineering project and laid out daily milestones.
(Id.) Mr. Glass's managers reviewed his progress
weekly to monitor his improvement in the ability to reliably
hit project markers, communicate with the team to resolve
technical questions, recognize and respect the advice of team
leads, improve his attitude and professionalism, document and
present technical data, and perform at senior level.
(Id. at 2.) The PIP specified that Mr. Glass was
required to comply with the PIP and demonstrate immediate
improvement or face termination. (Id.) Upon receipt
of the written warning, Mr. Glass contacted Judy Stroh of
Human Resources to dispute it. (Doc. 43-2 at 2.)
20, 2016, Mr. Glass filed two charges of discrimination with
the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(“EEOC”), alleging discrimination based on
disability. (Doc. 43-9 at 2.) Neither the human resources
department nor anyone else at ASIC North had any records
indicating that Mr. Glass had a disability prior to receiving
the charge. (Docs. 43-2; 43-5.) Around June 9, 2016, Mr.
Glass requested ergonomic improvements to his work area to
help with stress issues on his hands, wrists and forearms.
(Doc. 43-6 at 2.) On June 21, 2016, Chris Hughes evaluated
Mr. Glass's work station and gave him a replacement
chair. (Doc. 43-24 at 1.) Mr. Glass, noting continued issues
in his wrists, requested an under the desk pull out keyboard
tray. (Id.) ASIC North ordered such a tray on June
28, 2016. (Doc. 43-20 at 2.) However, ASIC North terminated
Mr. Glass effective June 30, 2016, citing Mr. Glass's
continued substandard performance. (Doc. 43-18 at 2.)
Glass filed a second charge of discrimination on December 23,
2016, alleging discrimination based on retaliation,
disability, and age. (Doc. 43-8.) His charge also asserts
that ASIC North employees, since his termination, have given
unfavorable references to prospective employers, thereby
interfering with his ability to obtain permanent employment.
(Id.) Mr. Glass filed his complaint in this Court on
March 21, 2018. (Doc. 1.) The complaint asserts claims for
disability discrimination and retaliation in violation of the
Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) under 42
U.S.C. §§ 12112 and 12203(a), and for tortious
interference with business expectancy. On April 16, 2019,
ASIC North filed its motion for summary judgment, which is
judgment is appropriate when there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact and, viewing those facts in a light most
favorable to the nonmoving party, the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A fact is
material if it might affect the outcome of the case, and a
dispute is genuine if a reasonable jury could find for the
nonmoving party based on the competing evidence. Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986);
Villiarimo v. Aloha Island Air, Inc., 281 F.3d 1054,
1061 (9th Cir. 2002). Summary judgment may also be entered
“against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient
to establish the existence of an element essential to that
party's case, and on which that party will bear the
burden of proof at trial.” Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
party seeking summary judgment “bears the initial
responsibility of informing the district court of the basis
for its motion, and identifying those portions of [the
record] which it believes demonstrate the absence of a
genuine issue of material fact.” Id. at 323.
The burden then shifts to the non-movant to establish the
existence of a genuine and material factual dispute.
Id. at 324. The non-movant “must do more than
simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the
material facts[, ]” and instead “come forward
with specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for
trial.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986) (internal quotation
and citation omitted).
Court will address each of Mr. Glass's claims, in turn.
Disability Discrimination in Violation of §
McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting framework applies
to claims brought under the ADA. Snead v. Metro. Prop.
Cas. Ins. Co., 237 F.3d 1080, 1093 (9th Cir. 2003).
Under this framework, Mr. Glass must first establish a prima
facie case of discrimination. If he adequately establishes a
presumption of discrimination, the burden shifts to ASIC
North to articulate a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason
for its adverse employment action. If ASIC North satisfies
this burden, Mr. Glass must then offer evidence that ASIC
North's advanced reason constitutes mere pretext.
Aragon v. Republic Silver State Disposal, 292 F.3d
654, 658-59 (9th Cir. 2002) (citing McDonnell Douglas
Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 802 (1973)).
order to establish a prima facie case of discrimination under
the ADA, “[Mr.] Glass needs to show that (1) he is
disabled under the Act; (2) he is qualified to perform
essential functions of his job; and (3) that he suffered an
adverse employment action because of his disability.”
Glass v. Intel Corp., No. CV-06-1404-PHX-MHM, 2009
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