The United States Law Week

Macy’s Beats Disability Claim by Anxiety-Ridden Employee

Dec. 21, 2018, 5:30 PM

Macy’s Inc. defeated disability-based discrimination claims by a makeup counter employee who asserted she had anxiety problems.

Angela Vitti didn’t show Macy’s violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled Dec. 21 in an unpublished decision.

When Macy’s hired Vitti, she told the store she needed Wednesdays off because she had therapy for ongoing anxiety issues. The store informally honored the request.

After five months, Vitti requested, and was granted, extended medical leave.

While Vitti was gone, the store changed payroll systems, and it told her she was required to file a formal request to continue with Wednesdays off. She never did.

Vitti had a spotty attendance record and was terminated after not showing up on five Wednesdays for which she was scheduled to work, the appeals court said.

Vitti never showed she could perform the essential duty of regularly coming to work, or that a causal connection existed between her disability and termination, the court said.

She also claimed she was retaliated against because her informal accommodations ended about the same time she filed a complaint against a co-worker.

Vitti’s actions were unprotected and, in any event, she didn’t show a causal connection between the complaint and her termination, the court said.

Judges Dennis Jacobs, Guido Calabresi, and Jed S. Rakoff, sitting by designation, were on the panel.

Law Offices of Laurie E. Morrison represented Vitti. Macy’s Counsel Latieke M. Lyles represented the store.

The case is Vitti v. Macy’s Inc., 2018 BL 473986, 2d Cir., No. 17-3493, unpublished 12/21/18

To contact the reporter on this story: Bernie Pazanowski in Washington at bpazanowski@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bloomberglaw.com; Steven Patrick at spatrick@bloomberglaw.com

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