March 01st, 2020
US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Opinions
Kitchen v. BASF
Opinion Date: February 28, 2020
Judge: Leslie H. Southwick
Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Labor & Employment Law
The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of plaintiff's motion for summary judgment in an action alleging that his former employer, BASF, discriminated against him in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The court held that plaintiff's ADA claim was properly dismissed, because plaintiff failed to offer any evidence of a causal connection between his discharge and his alcoholism. Furthermore, plaintiff failed to show that BASF's legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for discharging him, the apparent positive results of his alcohol test and violation of company policy, was pretextual. Even if the court were to consider plaintiff's failure-to-accommodate argument, it would fail because the ADA does not provide a right to an employee's preferred accommodation but only to a reasonable accommodation. The court also held that plaintiff produced no evidence to support his ADEA claim and there was no abuse of discretion in the district court's decision not to mandate the requested production of his discovery request. The court rejected plaintiff's remaining procedural and evidentiary challenges.
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