United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
ALVIN NATHANIEL BENNETT, SR. Plaintiff,
MARYLAND ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICE, Defendant.
J. HAZEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Alvin Nathaniel Bennett, proceeding pro se, was an
employee of Defendant Maryland Environment Service
(“MES”) from March 2007 until his employment was
terminated on May 8, 2015. Plaintiff alleges that MES
discriminated against him on the basis of race and sex in
violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and
disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities
Act of 1990, as amended (“ADA”). Defendant has
filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 29. No. hearing
is necessary. See Loc. R. 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For
the following reasons, Defendant's Motion for Summary
Judgment is granted.
employment with MES began in March 2007 as an Environmental
Systems Supervisor. ECF No. 29-4 at 3. In September
2007, he was promoted to Assistant Regional Supervisor for
the Southern Region. Id. at 4. He was reprimanded in
November 2009 for failing to follow safety protocols during a
chemical spill, and employees complained about his
supervision. ECF Nos. 29-4 at 5, 29-5 at 4. In November 2010,
he was demoted back to the position of Environmental Systems
Supervisor. Id. At the time of his demotion, he lost
his privileges to use a company vehicle. See ECF No.
33-1 at 3. He was replaced by Chris Thompson, a white male.
Id. Plaintiff was disciplined again in January 2011
for failing to collect a required sample of wastewater
effluent. ECF No. 29-4 at 6. MES continued to receive
complaints from employees regarding Plaintiff's
supervision, see ECF 29-5 at 3-5, and in July 2014
he began a 90-day Performance Improvement Plan. Id.
at 6. Though his performance improved during that 90 days,
MES soon began to again receive complaints regarding
Plaintiff's supervision. Id; ECF No. 29-6 at
3-4. On May 8, 2015, he was terminated for “negligent
behavior and overall poor leadership skills.” ECF No.
29-4 at 9.
March 2011, Plaintiff had notified MES that he suffered from
Obstructive Sleep Apnea. ECF No. 33-1 at 4. On April 28,
2015, less than two weeks before he was terminated, he had
requested that he be allowed to “occasionally arrive at
work at a later time” due to the Obstructive Sleep
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56, summary judgment is appropriate only when
the Court, viewing the record as a whole and in the light
most favorable to the nonmoving party, determines that there
exists no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-24 (1986). The
burden is on the moving party to demonstrate that there
exists no genuine dispute of material fact. Pulliam Inv.
Co. v. Cameo Props., 810 F.2d 1282, 1286 (4th Cir.
1987). To defeat the motion, the nonmoving party must submit
evidence showing facts sufficient for a fair-minded jury to
reasonably return a verdict for that party. See Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 252 (1986).
brings claims for discrimination on the basis of race and sex
pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and on
the basis of disability pursuant to the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”). As an initial
matter, Plaintiff's allegations of race and sex
discrimination are barred by the statute of limitations.
Plaintiff alleges two specific acts of discrimination: that
his demotion in November 2010 was the result of
discrimination on the basis of race and sex, and that the
revocation of his company vehicle privileges in November 2010
was the result of discrimination on the basis of race.
See ECF Nos. 33-1 at 5. In Maryland, acts occurring
more than 300 days prior to the filing of an Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) charge may not be
subsequently challenged in a Title VII lawsuit. See,
e.g., Holland v. Wash. Homes, Inc., 487 F.3d 208, 219
(4th Cir. 2007). The acts challenged here occurred in 2010,
far longer than 300 days before Plaintiff filed his EEOC
Charge on February 17, 2016. See ECF No. 29-3.
Therefore, Plaintiff's Title VII claims based on these
acts of discrimination are time barred.
ADA claim is based on his April 28, 2015 request for an
accommodation based on his Obstructive Sleep Apnea. In
Maryland, claims pursuant to the ADA are subject to a
three-year statute of limitations. See Semenova v. Md.
Transit Admin., 845 F.3d 564, 568 (4th Cir. 2017).
Plaintiff's ADA claim is thus timely filed.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”)
prohibits discrimination by employers against qualified
individuals with a disability. 42 U.S.C. § 12112. The
ADA bars both “disparate treatment because of an
employee's disability” and “the failure to
make ‘reasonable accommodations to the known physical
or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual
with a disability.'” Shin v. Univ. of Md. Med.
Syst. Corp., 369 Fed.Appx. 472, 479 (4th Cir. 2010)
(quoting 42 U.S.C. § 12112(b)(5)(A)).
must establish, as a threshold matter, that he is qualified
for his job and that he either has an actual disability or is
regarded as having one. See 42 U.S.C. § 12112;
Coursey v. Univ. of Md. E. Shore, 577 Fed.Appx. 167,
174 (4th Cir. 2014). A disability is defined as
“‘a physical or mental impairment' that
‘substantially limits one or more of the major life
activities of an individual,' and that includes a record
of such an impairment.” Coursey, 577 Fed.Appx.
at 174 (quoting Haulbrook v. Michelin N. Am., 252
F.3d 696, 702-03 (4th Cir. 2001)).
has not introduced sufficient evidence to establish that his
claimed disability substantially limits one or more of his
major life activities. Specifically, in support of his
assertion that he has obstructive sleep apnea he introduced
only a form dated March 24, 2011, that states that the
“probable duration of [the] condition” was twelve
weeks. ECF No. 33-9. This form says little about whether
Plaintiff had a qualifying disability at the time of his
request for an accommodation on April 28, 2015. Furthermore,
Plaintiff has not offered any evidence explaining how his
condition affects or limits any of his major life activities.
Therefore, Plaintiff has not carried his burden of
establishing a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether
he has a disability under the ADA and summary judgment will
be granted on this claim.