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Charlene Gedeus, Counsel in the firm's Labor & Employment section, comments on the Third Circuit's decision to affirm a Pennsylvania federal judge's summary judgment decision in favor of Temple University Health System (TUHS). Charlene and Joe Centeno, Labor & Employment Section Co-Chair and shareholder, defended TUHS in the case.

"I believe the district court decision granting summary judgment on all claims was well reasoned, as well as the Third Circuit's decision affirming it," Charlene A. Barker Gedeus, an attorney for Temple Health, said to Law360 on Thursday. "This was a great result for my client and the right result under the law." 

The plaintiff filed a seven-count complaint in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Charlene and Joe successfully moved for summary judgment at the district court level. The plaintiff appealed.

Conducting a de novo review, the Third Circuit court determined, inter alia, that the plaintiff did not have a valid disability discrimination claim when she was terminated after she was found sleeping in a conference room while on duty. Specifically, the Third Circuit cited her well-documented history of poor work performance and highlighted the events as described by the plaintiff (that she was hunched over in the break room with the lights out) and held that she was discharged not because she is disabled but because she repeatedly came back late from breaks and slept on the job.

With respect to the plaintiff’s failure to accommodate claim, the decision further held that TUHS did not refuse to accommodate her disability because she never asked for an accommodation and the record was clear that there was nothing TUHS could have done to accommodate her.

TUHS is one of the largest healthcare providers in the Philadelphia region.

Read more in Law360's "3rd Circuit Won't Revive Diabetic Worker's Bias Suit."