Lamphear v. Potter
The Americans With Disabilities Act excludes the U.S. Postal Service, as an employer, from coverage. In 2008, a manager at the U.S. Postal Service met with the plaintiff mechanic, Louis Lamphear, in response to complaints from co-workers, and required that Lamphear attend an employee assistance program. Lamphear was demoted from level 9, because he failed to pass a level 9 promotional exam for building mechanics, although other workers who failed allegedly were permitted to remain at level 9. In December, Lamphear filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. In January and June 2009, Lamphear allegedly engaged in physical altercations with another worker, with whom he shared a workstation, when Lamphear arrived early. In September and October, an anonymous worker allegedly painted his toolbox and covered the nameplate on his locker. In October, Lamphear sued the postmaster general, alleging violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act, as a result of perceived mental disability. The defendant moved for summary judgment. The ADA provides that "[t]he term 'employer' does not include . . . the United States," and the court found that the ADA excludes the U.S. Postal Service, as an employer, from coverage. Although Lamphear was informed in 2011 that the ADA did not provide coverage, he did not attempt to amend his complaint, to substitute a Rehabilitation Act claim, until May 2012. The court found that the plaintiff lacked good cause to amend his complaint, after the January 2010, deadline. Even if the motion to amend had been filed timely, the decision to refer Lamphear to an EAP did not qualify as adverse employment action. Also, Lamphear failed to establish he was "otherwise qualified" to remain at level 9, after he failed the level 9 promotional exam. The court denied Lamphear's motion to amend. The court was not persuaded that alleged acts of vandalism and physical altercations with another worker resulted from retaliation, because Lamphear filed an EEOC complaint. Lamphear failed to establish a workplace permeated with discriminatory intimidation, which was severe or pervasive enough to alter conditions of work. The court granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment.