Judge finds for Harris Health in ADA claim

   Federal District Court Judge Alfred Bennett granted judgment in favor of the Harris County Hospital District in a case in which a nurse claimed she was fired as the result of a back injury she suffered at work. After her back injury, which prevented her from standing or lifting, the District as an accommodation, transferred the nurse to a sedentary position in the Ask My Nurse unit where her primary job duty was telephone triage of patients. During the 90 day orientation period at Ask My Nurse, her supervisors reported that she had difficulty performing job duties related to telephone triage including problems navigating the District's computer system, performing internet searches and correctly documenting calls. She alleged that the Hospital District's termination for her inability to perform her new job was a pretext to hide disability discrimination. The Court determined that a reasonable juror could not find that Harris Health's proffered reason for Plaintiff's termination, namely, poor performance during the orientation period, was pretext for discrimination and granted Harris Health's Motion for Summary Judgment. Assistant County Attorney Sara Thomas represented the Harris County Hospital District. The case is Ajeleti v Harris County Hospital District. The opinion is available here.