United States District Court, District of Columbia
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
P. Mehta United States District Judge.
Cherryl Bradley filed this lawsuit against her former
employer, Defendant District of Columbia Public Schools
(“DCPS”), asserting that Defendant failed to
accommodate her disability and wrongfully terminated her
employment. Plaintiff initially brought six claims, including
violation of her constitutional and statutory rights under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, discrimination and retaliation in
violation of federal and District of Columbia law, and
constructive discharge under District of Columbia law. The
court dismissed her claims under section 1983 and the
District of Columbia Administrative Procedure Act. See
Bradley v. D.C. Pub. Sch., 87 F.Supp.3d 156 (D.D.C.
2015). The court now addresses Plaintiff's remaining
claims for discrimination and retaliation under the Americans
with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), and the District
of Columbia Human Rights Act (“DCHRA”).
case is before the court in a unique posture-on
Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment.
Plaintiff therefore bears the heavy burden of showing that a
reasonable jury could reach only one conclusion based on the
record evidence-that Defendant failed to reasonably
accommodate her disability and terminated her because of her
disability and request for reasonable accommodation. The
court finds that Plaintiff has not satisfied this burden and,
therefore, denies her Motion for Summary Judgment.
Cherryl Bradley began work as a special education specialist
for Defendant in 2004. Pl.'s Mem. in Supp. of Mot. for
Summ. J., ECF No. 32-1 [hereinafter Pl.'s Mot.], at 1,
11; Pl.'s Stmt. of Undisputed Material Facts, ECF No.
32-2 [hereinafter Pl.'s Stmt.], ¶ 3; Def.'s
Opp'n to Pl.'s Mot. for Summ. J., Ex. A, Def.'s
Resp. to Pl.'s Stmt., ECF No. 35-2 [hereinafter
Def.'s Resp.], ¶¶ 3-4. In April 2009, while
Plaintiff was substitute teaching, a student violently
elbowed her in the chest, causing her serious injuries and
preventing her from returning to work until January 2010.
Pl.'s Stmt. ¶¶ 12-19; Def.'s Resp.
one year later, Defendant again assigned Plaintiff to
substitute teach in a special education classroom. Exposure
to the students caused Plaintiff to flash back to the 2009
battery and gave her extreme anxiety. Pl.'s Stmt.
¶¶ 20-24. Plaintiff sought medical assistance and
was diagnosed with Adjustment Disorder with Mixed Anxiety,
Depressed Mood, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Pl.'s
Mot. at 1; Def.'s Resp. ¶ 23.
March 2011, Plaintiff sought disability compensation and sick
leave. Pl.'s Stmt. ¶¶ 25- 28; Def.'s Resp.
¶ 27-28. After her claim went unaddressed, Plaintiff
filed a formal charge of discrimination in July 2011 with the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against both
Defendant and the District of Columbia Office of Risk
Management, citing discriminatory practices with respect to
her disability. See Receipt of Original Case File,
ECF No. 2, Superior Court Documents, ECF No. 2-1 [hereinafter
Super. Ct. Docs.], at 155-56 (Ex. BB, Charge of
Discrimination); Pl.'s Stmt. ¶¶ 27-31, 45;
Def.'s Resp. ¶¶ 27-31, 45. Eventually, in
December 2011, Defendant granted Plaintiff extended leave
until March 4, 2012. Super. Ct. Docs. at 161- 62 (Ex. HH,
Letter from Erin K. Pitts to Cherryl Bradley (Dec. 6, 2011));
Pl.'s Stmt. ¶ 56; Def.'s Resp. ¶ 56.
April 10, 2012, Paul Webb, Manager of Staffing Services for
Defendant, sent Plaintiff a letter “regarding [her]
return to work for DC Public Schools.” See
Super. Ct. Docs. at 168 (Ex. LL, Letter from Paul Webb to
Cherryl Bradley (Apr. 10, 2012)). Webb advised Plaintiff that
“[t]he first step is obtaining the necessary background
clearance. You are required to come in for fingerprinting . .
. . Once your fingerprints have cleared, we can move forward
with your placement.” Id. The letter warned
that the “[f]ailure to report for fingerprinting . . .
will be taken as your voluntary resignation as an employee of
DC Public Schools.” Id.
same month, Plaintiff's treating psychiatrist sent a
letter to Defendant, stating that Plaintiff “currently
cannot perform any of the job functions listed related to the
job description until her anticipated recovery which can be
anywhere between 4-6 months.” See Id. at 169
(Ex. MM, Letter from Sheryl Neverson (Apr. 16, 2012));
Pl.'s Stmt. ¶ 62; Def.'s Resp. ¶ 62. The
letter included a diagnosis form in which her physician
opined that Plaintiff “needs to work on reasonable
accommodations for her [to] return to work because returning
to the position that she left a year ago can further injur[e]
[Plaintiff].” Super. Ct. Docs. at 171 (Ex. MM, Medical
Diagnosis of Cherryl Bradley).
Plaintiff did not appear at her scheduled fingerprinting
appointment, DCPS terminated her. Id. at 172 (Ex.
PP, Notification of Personnel Action); Pl.'s Stmt.
¶¶ 64-66; Def.'s Resp. ¶¶ 64, 66.
filed a Complaint in D.C. Superior Court in May 2014. Notice
of Removal, ECF No. 1, Pl.'s Compl., ECF. No. 1-2
[hereinafter Compl.], at 4-34. Plaintiff then filed an
Amended Complaint in this court on September 22, 2014,
alleging deprivation of her constitutional and statutory
rights, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (Count I);
discrimination and retaliation in violation of the ADA and
DCHRA (Counts II, III, IV, and V); and discharge in violation
of the D.C. Administrative Procedure Act (Count VI). On April
3, 2015, the court dismissed Counts I and VI. See
Bradley, 87 F.Supp.3d at 158. Plaintiff thus has four
remaining claims: (1) employment discrimination based on her
disability under ...