Henschel v. Clare Cnty. Rd. Comm'n, No. 13-1528 (6th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
CCRC employee Henschel was covered by a collective bargaining agreement that provided for seniority rights. Hel was involved in a motorcycle accident that resulted in amputation of his left leg. CCRC hired a temporary excavator operator for Henschel’s position. Henschel had hauled the excavator to the site 70 percent of the time and other CCRC employees, 30 percent. CCRC specified hauling as a function of Truck/Tractor Driver, but did not include hauling in its Operator-Excavator job description; it included an “Other duties assigned” task. Henschel sought a waiver to maintain his commercial driver’s license. The Michigan Traffic Safety Division requested, from CCRC, an evaluation of Henschel’s ability to perform essential job functions of a truck driver, including driving a manual transmission. CCRC did not limit testing to essential functions of a truck driver, but tested Henschel for every CCRC position. The Division allowed Henschel to retain his CDL, limited to automatic-transmission vehicles. CCRC did not try to return him to the excavator but attempted to find him a truck driver position in an automatic transmission truck. The lowest seniority truck driver declined to give up his truck. Before firing Henschel, CCRC did not ask other qualified drivers if they would be willing to haul the excavator. The district court entered summary judgment or CCRC. The Sixth Circuit reversed in part, finding that genuine issues of material fact exist as to the essential functions of the excavator operator position.