United States District Court, D. Maryland
Stephanie A. Gallagher United States District Judgef
Freddy Famba (“Plaintiff”) filed this case
against his former employer, Rite Aid of Maryland, Inc.
(“Rite Aid”), alleging disability discrimination
and failure to accommodate in violation of the Americans with
Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101
et seq., and the Maryland Fair Employment Practices
Act (“MFEPA”), Title 20 of Maryland's State
Government Article. ECF 1. Discovery is now concluded, and
Rite Aid has filed a Motion for Summary Judgment (“the
Motion”), ECF 22. I have reviewed the Motion, along
with Plaintiff's Opposition and Memorandum in Support,
ECF 31, 32, and Rite Aid's Reply, ECF 33. No. hearing is
necessary. See Loc. R. 105.6 (D. Md. 2018). For the
reasons that follow, I will grant Defendant's Motion.
began working as a stocker for Rite Aid on May 28, 2002. ECF
22-4, Exh. 1 at 34:8-10, 45:1-3). The “Essential Duties
and Responsibilities” of that position, as outlined in
the written job description, include:
1. Cut open boxed inventory in the storage area behind the
flow rack or on the rack.
2. Place opened boxes on the appropriate shelf of the flow
3. Walk the length of the flow rack.
4. Use pallet jack to stage moves.
5. Use roller cart to transport boxes to be replenished.
6. Use reach pole to assist in replenishing.
7. Conducts clean sweep activities.
ECF 22-4, Exh. 2 at 18. The written description further
classifies the stocker job as “heavy” in
exertional level, according to the Dictionary of Occupational
Titles. Id. at 19. In addition, the job description
notes physical demands that “are representative of
those that must be met to successfully perform the essential
functions of this job, ” including the ability to
“lift up to seventy-five (75) pounds and carry a
distance of ten (10) feet” regularly, and “lift
up to fifty (50) pounds and carry a distance of ten (10)
feet” frequently. Id. According to the job
description, stockers are also frequently required to
“stoop, kneel, crouch, and/or crawl.”
Id. Plaintiff corroborated, at his deposition, that
his essential duties included lifting up to 75 pounds, and
bending, stooping, and kneeling. ECF 22-4, Exh. 1 at 48:6-10
(responding “Yes” when asked if he would
“sometimes have to lift up to 75 pounds and carry a
distance of ten feet”), 48:16-49:1.
underwent emergency gallbladder removal surgery on June 13,
2017. Id. at 77:20-79:13. He submitted the
appropriate paperwork to take a medical leave of absence,
including a Certification of Health Care Provider for
Employee's Serious Health Condition (“CHCP”).
Id. at 84:8-85:18. Rite Aid approved Plaintiff's
initial leave of absence, and then four extensions, affording
him approved leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act
(“FMLA”) and then non-FMLA leave from June 27,
2017 through September 11, 2017. ECF 22-4, Exh. 4 at
Interrog. 5. On September 12, 2017, Plaintiff's doctor
permitted his return to work, with an assessment indicating
that he should engage in no lifting greater than 40 lbs. ECF
22-4, Exh. 1 at 115:18-116:10. Although stockers routinely
lift in excess of that weight, Rite Aid agreed to place
Plaintiff in its “Rx” function, which is not a
light duty area, but tended to have boxes weighing less than
40 lbs. See ECF 22-4, Exh. 7 at 62:14-63:2
(“It was not light duty, but the central functions of
the job did not require lifting over 40 pounds.”).
shortly after his return to work in the Rx department,
Plaintiff noted that the lifting and bending gave him pain,
and he sought treatment in the emergency room. ECF 22-4, Exh.
6 at 32:6-13 (“From the work I do in Rx, that's
what caused me pain.”). After another brief leave,
Plaintiff returned to work with an updated medical
restriction providing that, for two weeks, he could not lift
more than 10 lbs. ECF 22-4, Exh. 8. Rite Aid responded that
no stocker positions could ...