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Forte v. Board of Education of Harford County

United States District Court, D. Maryland

December 4, 2014

JENNIFER FORTE
v.
BOARD OF EDUCATION OF HARFORD COUNTY et al.

MEMORANDUM

WILLIAM M. NICKERSON, Sr., District Judge.

Pending before the Court is Defendant Board of Education of Harford County's Motion to Dismiss. ECF No. 15. The Court determines that no hearing is necessary, Local Rule 105.6, and for the reasons stated herein, the motion will be granted in part and denied in part.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Ms. Forte brings this action against the Board of Education of Harford County (the Board) and Harford County Public Schools pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq. (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §§ 701 et seq., and Maryland contract law for the Board's[1] alleged failure to accommodate her disabilities, creation of a hostile work environment, retaliation, and breach of a prior settlement agreement between the parties. Ms. Forte suffers from "mental retardation and seizure disorder, " ECF No. 13 ¶ 2 (Amended Complaint), and has a disability "consist[ing] of low cognitive abilities, a short attention span, poor memory, and behavioral abnormalities" Id . ¶ 20.

Ms. Forte was hired by the Board in June 2009 as a mailroom clerk in accordance with a settlement agreement entered into by her and the Board in order to dispose of an ADA discrimination and retaliation suit she filed in this court in November 2008. The May 2009 Settlement Agreement also memorialized the following accommodations to be taken by the Board:

(1) Supervision: the Board would provide a supervisor to directly oversee and evaluate Ms. Forte's performance;
(2) Job Skills Assessor: the Board would partially pay for an assessment of skills by a job skills expert selected by Ms. Forte;
(3) Job Coach: the Board would work with Ms. Forte's qualified job coach to help her with assigned job duties and to familiarize her with the work environment;
(4) ADP: the Board would execute an adaptive progressive development plan (ADP) during the six-month probationary period created collaboratively by Ms. Forte, the skills assessor, job coach, and supervisor;
(5) Early Job Evaluations: the Board would provide at least two formal performance evaluations to provide feedback to Ms. Forte during the probationary period; and
(6) Work Load Requirements: the Board would take steps to insure that work would not accumulate on Ms. Forte.

Id. ¶ 25. The Settlement Agreement also contained a dispute resolution clause that provided that

"[t]he parties agree to submit any dispute that arises over the interpretation and implementation of this Agreement to United States Magistrate Paul W. Grimm of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland (Northern Division), who shall retain ...

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