Thompson v. Fresh Products, LLC, No. 20-3060 (6th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Thompson, an African-American, has arthritis in her knees, back, and neck. Her doctor gave her lifting restrictions at a previous job. She was approved for Social Security Disability payments in 2014 based on a primary disability of morbid obesity and a secondary disability of arthritis. She is no longer morbidly obese. Fresh hired Thompson, age 52, as a production worker in 2016. Thompson did not mention her arthritis diagnosis and did not have restrictions on her ability to work; she performed her job duties without accommodations. Thompson later decided she would like to work part-time “to get some work done on [her] back.” Her supervisors do not recall any conversations about her pain or desire to work part-time. She did not provide medical documentation. Fresh began experiencing a reduction in sales and changed its shift schedule. Thompson indicated that she was unable to work the new schedule but did not provide an explanation. Thompson later asked about part-time hours. As one of five employees who indicated that she could not work proposed shift changes, Thompson was laid off.
Thompson sued, alleging disability discrimination, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12101–12117, age discrimination, under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. 621–634, and race discrimination, under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-2–2000e-5. The Sixth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of Fresh. Thompson has not established a prima facie case of discrimination.