Todd v. Fayette County School District, No. 19-13821 (11th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit against the school district, claiming discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act; interference with her Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) rights; and retaliation in violation of all three statutes. Principally, plaintiff alleged that, in ending her employment, the school district discriminated against her because she suffers from major depressive disorder and retaliated against her for asserting her statutory rights.
The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the school district. The district court concluded that the school district had terminated plaintiff's employment because of her conduct—the threats she made against her own life and the lives of others—not because she had major depressive disorder or because she had participated in statutorily protected activity. In regard to plaintiff's disability discrimination claims under the ADA and Rehabilitation Act, the court ultimately concluded that plaintiff failed to present sufficient evidence to create a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether the school district's proffered reasons for terminating her employment were pretextual. In regard to plaintiff's retaliation claims, the court concluded that, besides the temporal proximity between when plaintiff asserted her ADA rights and when the school district asked her to resign, no evidence suggests that the school district's stated reasons for ending her employment were merely an excuse to cover up retaliation. In regard to the FMLA interference claim, the court concluded that plaintiff cites nothing from the record to show that the school district's decision to end her employment related in any way to her decision to take FMLA leave.