Two-day sciatica flare-up not a disability, says company fighting lawsuit from former employee

By Kyla Asbury | May 25, 2018

PHILADELPHIA — A residential retirement community has filed a motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit over allegations that it discriminated against a former employee.

Housekeeping  

PHILADELPHIA — A residential retirement community has filed a motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit over allegations that it discriminated against a former employee.

The brief in support of the motion for summary judgment was filed on April 20.

Defendants Philadelphia Presbytery Homes and Philadelphia Presbytery Homes and Services for the Aging stated that Willie Penson cannot prevail on his disability discrimination claim because he did not establish that he was disabled at the time of his termination.

The defendants argued that a condition lasting two days—which is how long Penson's issue allegedly lasted—cannot constitute a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Penson's claim that the defendants regarded him as disabled should be dismissed, according to the motion.

The defendants stated that summary judgment should be awarded and the plaintiff's claims should be dismissed.

Penson was hired by Philadelphia Presbytery Homes and Philadelphia Presbytery Homes and Services for the Aging on July 3, 2015, according to an amended complaint filed on Aug. 9 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He worked in the defendants' housekeeping department.

Penson allegedly suffers from sciatica, and he claims that he required reasonable accommodations, including intermittent time off from work.

The plaintiff was hospitalized in early June 2016 due to his sciatica, which allegedly required him to miss time from work.

Penson claims that Brittany Roche, the defendants' human resources coordinator, told him that he couldn't work because his condition was very painful.

Penson allegedly volunteered documentation regarding his hospitalization and ability to return to work, but the defendants allegedly informed him that his employment was terminated.

The plaintiff claims that the defendants violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

Penson is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

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