United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Central Division
NANETTE K. LAUGHREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Defendant City of Columbia-COMO
Connect's Motion for Summary Judgment, Doc. 51. For the
following reasons, the motion is granted.
Hope Quaintance brings this suit pro se, alleging that her
former employer, Defendant City of Columbia-COMO Connect
(“Columbia”), discriminated against her on the
basis of her race, gender, and disability, and in retaliation
for her complaints of harassment in the workplace.
in February 2013, Quaintance worked for Columbia as a
temporary bus driver. Her route operated on the University of
Missouri, Columbia campus, and therefore she worked only when
the students were present. When students were away during the
summer, Quaintance and the other temporary bus drivers would
be laid off, but when the students returned in the fall,
Quaintance and the other temporary bus drivers would be
recalled. Throughout her tenure, Quaintance alleges she was
subject to harassment from her co-workers. As a result of the
harassment Quaintance often felt physically unwell. She filed
a complaint with her supervisors on April 4, 2014.
8, 2014, Quaintance left work early to visit her primary care
doctor. Though she was told that her blood pressure was high,
she was released to return to work with no restrictions.
However, Columbia requires all bus driver candidates to
satisfy U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”)
medical requirements, including baseline standards related to
blood pressure. Additionally, according to a City of Columbia
ordinance, employees may at any time be required to undergo
medical examinations to determine their fitness and continued
ability to perform the essential functions of their job.
Thus, when Quaintance informed her supervisor about her blood
pressure results, she was removed from bus driving duty and
required to undergo a “fitness for duty
14, 2014, Quaintance visited Dr. Michael Szewczyk, a
certified DOT Medical Examiner and Columbia's medical
advisor for DOT and public safety employees. As part of her
fitness for duty exam, Dr. Szewczyk requested the medical
records related to Quaintance's May 8, 2014 doctor visit.
Upon reviewing the records, he learned that Quaintance has a
history of bipolar disease, and that she was not receiving
treatment. Quaintance told Dr. Szewczyk that she felt it was
not bipolar disease but rather attention deficit disorder. He
explained that she could satisfy DOT requirements regardless
of whether it was bipolar disease or attention deficit
disorder, but either way she would need to establish care
with a mental health professional, be stable, and be cleared
to operate a commercial vehicle by both a mental health
professional and Dr. Szewczyk.
Szewczyk returned a “fit for duty authorization
form” to Columbia stating that Quaintance could return
to work, but she was specifically restricted from driving
because she needed additional medical treatment. A follow up
exam was scheduled for July 15, 2014, to confirm that she was
proceeding as necessary to regain her DOT certification. That
appointment was ultimately cancelled and never rescheduled.
was issued a recall date for August 18, 2014. However, on
August 25, 2014, she received a letter from Columbia stating
that because she was not DOT certified, she was not eligible
to be recalled back to work.
brings this lawsuit alleging employment discrimination under
the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act. She alleges that she was discriminated
against due to her “disability and/or [her] record of
disability, ” due to her race and gender, and in
retaliation for her complaints of harassment in the
workplace. Doc. 1, p. 6.
purpose of summary judgment is to “pierce the pleadings
and assess the proof in order to see whether there is a
genuine need for trial.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). Therefore,
to obtain summary judgment, the movant must show that
“there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact
and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). If the movant satisfies this
burden, then the non-moving party “must set forth
specific facts sufficient to raise a genuine issue for trial
and cannot rest on allegations in the pleadings.”
Ryan v. Capital Contractors, Inc., 679 F.3d 772, 776
(8th Cir. 2012) (quoting Nw. Airlines, Inc. v. Astraea
Aviation Servs., Inc., 111 F.3d 1386, 1393 (8th
deciding whether to grant summary judgment, the Court must
view all facts in a light most favorable to the nonmoving
party, and give that party the benefit of all reasonable
inferences drawn from the facts. Robinson v.
Monaghan, 864 F.2d 622, 624 (8th Cir. 1989). However,
both parties must support their assertions “by citing
to particular parts of materials in the record . . . or
showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence
or presence of a genuine dispute.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(c)(1). Quaintance does not address Columbia's section
of uncontroverted facts, nor does her response provide its
own. Moreover, despite relying on new facts, Quaintance does
not support any of her factual assertions by citing to
depositions, documents, affidavits or declarations, as
required by Federal Rule 56. Indeed, her response does not
cite to the record at all.
has also represented to the Court that it submitted a written
request to admit to Quaintance, which she did not answer.
When a party serves a written request to admit, every matter
included in that request “is admitted unless, within 30
days after being served, the party to whom the request is
directed serves on the requesting party a written answer or
objection addressed to the matter and signed by the party or
its attorney.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 36(a)(3). “A matter
admitted under this rule is conclusively established unless
the court, on motion, permits the admission to be withdrawn
or amended.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 36(b). Quaintance does not