Romano v. Chautauqua Opportunites Inc.

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Employment

New York Law Journal

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Judge William Skretny

Chautauqua Opportunities Inc. (COI) operated federally funded WIC and MOMs programs in 2008. State regulators were dissatisfied by COI's blending of the programs' funding. Also, the MOMs program was to be taken over by the county. Those changes prompted COI to consider restructuring and reduction in force. Romano—whose ailments include rheumatoid arthritis, scoliosis, and multiple sclerosis—worked for COI from May 1987 until Nov. 26, 2008, when she was terminated under the restructuring. District court granted COI summary judgment dismissing Romano's amended complaint alleging that COI discriminated against her on the basis of her disability contrary to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), by failing to reasonably accommodate her disability—by revoking a key privilege that allowed her access to a side door next to employee parking—and by firing her due to her disability. Romano's key revocation claim was untimely as occurring more than 300 days before she filed claims before the EEOC and state human rights division in January 2009. Further, the record evidence did not raise a reasonable inference of discrimination, and COI offered a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for Romano's termination.

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