Kinsella v. Baker Hughes Oilfield Operations, LLC, No. 22-2007 (7th Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
In 2013, Kinsella, working for Baker, suffered work-related knee injuries that left him unable to work for three years. He received disability benefits. In 2016, his physician deemed him fit to work in sedentary jobs. Martinez, in human resources, helped him look for appropriate jobs at the company. Kinsella submitted an ADA Reassignment Request. Martinez indicated that Baker had 30 days to look for jobs and that failure to timely find alternative work would result in termination. After that period expired, Martinez suggested Kinsella apply for a dispatcher job. Kinsella failed to apply on time, despite an extension. He applied the next day but did not follow up. A non-disabled employee was hired.
Kinsella received a termination letter, citing failure to apply for a position. Kinsella responded, attaching a receipt confirming his application. After investigation, Baker began the process of reinstating Kinsella'a status. Eventually, negotiations broke down.
In 2018, Kinsella filed a claim that the EEOC dismissed as untimely. Kinsella sued, alleging failure-to-accommodate, discriminatory discharge, and retaliation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12101. An arbitrator granted Baker summary judgment. Kinsella asked the district court to vacate the award, arguing that the arbitrator exceeded his powers by requiring illegitimate elements of proof. The court reinstated and dismissed the case. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. Kinsella misconstrues the arbitrator’s statements concerning a lack of evidence showing discriminatory intent. They were part of attributing fault on both sides for a breakdown in the interactive process to find a reasonable accommodation.