Lovelace v. Washington University School of Medicine, No. 17-3673 (8th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit against her employees, alleging that they unlawfully terminated her in retaliation for exercising her rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA). Plaintiff's husband filed suit for loss of consortium.
The Eighth Circuit held that the district court did not err in granting defendants summary judgment on the FMLA claim, because plaintiff's use of FMLA leave some half-year prior to her termination was insufficient to show her termination was an act of discrimination. The court also held that the district court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of defendants on the MHRA claim, because plaintiff could not have had a reasonable good faith belief that the conduct she opposed had constituted disability discrimination in violation of the MHRA. For purposes of the MHRA, accusing an employee of racism does not constitute racial discrimination. Furthermore, evidence of general temporary work restrictions, without more, was insufficient to constitute a disability. Finally, the loss of consortium claim was properly dismissed.