Appeals Court Affirms Opinion of District Court Granting Summary Judgment Against Employee Who Sued For Discrimination

Case Name: Nicholas Stover v.

Court: United States Court of Appeals – Sixth Circuit

Date of Opinion: January 10, 2022

Judges: Gibbons, Readler, and Murphy

Overview:  Appellant appealed a decision by the District Court which granted Amazon summary judgment in a case involving an employee claim of violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Background:  Nicholas Stover started working at Amazon as a seasonal customer service representative.  Eleven days into his employment, Stover told Amazon that he had a chronic illness and that he sometimes needed to go to the restroom without notice.  After numerous attempts to obtain documentation of his illness, Amazon closed its administrative case involving Stover.

After a new boss was hired to oversee Stover, he felt that he and the new supervisor had a personal conflict.  During that time Stover received poor ratings at his job.  The supervisor discovered that Stover had been confrontational to customers over the phone and sometimes hung up on them. In addition, the supervisor counseled Stover about taking excessive breaks. In due time, Amazon terminated Stover’s employment. 

Stover subsequently sued Amazon alleging reasonable accommodation and wrongful termination. The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of Amazon and Stover appealed the decision to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The appeals court notes that in order for Stover to succeed, he must show that 1) he is disabled, 2) he is qualified for the position, 3) Amazon knew about his disability, 4) Stover requested a reasonable accommodation, and 5) Amazon failed to provide this accommodation. 

The court opines that Stover did not provide Amazon with supporting material which would have demonstrated the nature of his accommodation request.  In addition, the court maintains that Stover has not provided direct evidence that Amazon discriminated against him. 

Conclusion:  The Sixth Circuit affirmed the judgment of the District Court.

Steven M. Cohen
Law Librarian | + posts

Steven M. Cohen is a law librarian at a midsize law firm in New York City.  He was the creator of Library Stuff, one of the first library blogs, which lasted over 15 years.  He obtained his MLS from Queens College in 2002.  His passions include legal research, reading novels, and rooting on his favorite sports teams.