Lightfoot v. Henry Cnty. Sch. Dist., No. 13-14631 (11th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit against the School District, her former employer, for violations of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), 29 U.S.C. 2601 et seq., and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq. The court held that the School District is not an "arm of the State," and instead operates more like a county or similar political subdivision to which Eleventh Amendment immunity does not extend. Therefore, the court reversed the district court's finding that the School District was entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity. In regards to plaintiff's ADA retaliation claim, the court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to the School District where the district court did not abuse its discretion by declining to construe plaintiff's ADA retaliation claim as being based on different facts than the ones actually pled in her ADA count. Even when construed liberally, plaintiff's complaint did not give the School District notice that her ADA retaliation claim was based on her request for FMLA leave.