Capps v. Mondelez Global LLC, No. 15-3839 (3d Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Capps was hired in 1989, to operate a mixing machine.Capps suffers with Avascular Necrosis: A “loss of blood flow, severely limiting oxygen and nutrient delivery to the bone and tissues, essentially suffocating and causing death of those cells.” Capps developed arthritis in both hips which necessitated bilateral hip replacement in 2003. He experiences severe pain, sometimes lasting for days or weeks at a time. Capps was continuously recertified for intermittent Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), 29 U.S.C. 2601, leave until his employment was terminated in 2014, for violation of a policy concerning dishonesty. Capps purportedly tried to use FMLA leave for DUI court dates. The Third CIrcuit affirmed summary judgment, rejecting Capps’ claims of interference with and retaliation for exercise of his FMLA rights and violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12101. An employer’s honest belief that its employee was misusing FMLA leave can defeat an FMLA retaliation claim. While, under certain circumstances, a request for intermittent FMLA leave may also constitute a request for a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, in this case, even if such a request was made, there is no evidence that the employer failed to provide any requested accommodation.