Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

CHINIEWICZ v. HENDERSON

April 22, 2002

HENRY CHINIEWICZ,
V.
WILLIAM J. HENDERSON, POSTMASTER GENERAL, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Wolin, District Judge

OPINION

This motion comes before the Court on defendant Postmaster General's motion for reargument under Local Rule 7.1(g). For the reasons discussed below, the defendant's motion is denied.

BACKGROUND

The Court detailed the factual background of this case in a March 15, 2002, opinion in which the Court granted summary judgment on all but one of plaintiff's claims. The defendant now urges the Court to reconsider the denial of summary judgment on the single claim that defendant wrongfully denied plaintiff training and subsequent promotions because he was disabled. The Court will reiterate the facts relevant to this claim only briefly.

Plaintiff was a carrier at the Succasunna, New Jersey post office. He injured his knee in 1993, and as a result his mobility is limited. During his recovery, plaintiff was severely restricted in both the kinds of activities he could safely perform and the number of hours he could work. In July, 1994, when plaintiff was permitted by his doctor to work only four hours a day, he sent a letter to the postmaster of the Succasunna post office requesting 204B training.*fn1 Plaintiff received no response. In August, 1995, when plaintiff was working six-hour days, plaintiff requested 2043 training from officer-in-charge Laura Griffin. Ms. Griffin told him that she would consider his request when he returned to work full time. Plaintiff returned to work full time in October, 1995.

Erik Slager became plaintiff's supervisor in May, 1996. While plaintiff never directly asked Mr. Slager for 2043 training, plaintiff's shop steward and his EEO counselor both communicated to Mr. Slager plaintiff's interest in such an assignment. At some point, Mr. Slager's brother became a 2043 at the Succasunna post office.

Even after his doctor permitted him to return to work full time, plaintiff's activities were permanently limited. Plaintiff is severely restricted in his walking, lifting and bending. He is not permitted to climb, kneel or twist.

The Court denied summary judgment on this claim, stating that an employer's description of a job is not necessarily controlling, and finding that what the duties of a supervisor are and whether or not plaintiff could perform them were questions of fact for a jury.

Motion for Reargument

To be successful on a motion for reconsideration, a petitioner must present "something new or something overlooked by the court in rendering the earlier decision." Hernandez v. Beeler, 129 F. Supp.2d 698, 701 (D.N.J. 2001), quoting Khair v. Campbell Soup Co., 893 F. Supp. 316, 337 (D.N.J. 1995). Where dispositive factual matters or controlling legal precepts were presented to the Court but not considered, the Court will reexamine its decision. See Barone v. Brown, 126 F. Supp.2d 805, 807 (D.N.J. 2001). It is not an opportunity for a party to circumvent page limits on court submissions, or to introduce legal theories that a party failed to include in its initial motion. Therefore, "where evidence is not newly discovered or there exist[] no manifest errors of law, the motion for reconsideration must be denied because a motion for reconsideration is not a vehicle to reargue the motion or to present evidence which should have been raised in connection with an earlier motion." Hunterson v. DiSabato, 137 F. Supp.2d 529, 549 (D.N.J. 1999)

DISCUSSION

The defendant now argues that the Court failed to consider several issues when it denied summary judgment on plaintiff's failure to train claim. First, defendant claims that the Court failed to consider the fact that plaintiff was unable to work an eight hour workday until October, 1995 and was therefore unqualified for 2043 training until then. Furthermore, defendant contends, whether or not plaintiff was qualified for 2043 training after October, 1995, is irrelevant because he did not submit an application for the assignment. Defendant last urges that it has provided nondiscriminatory reasons for the failure to give plaintiff 2043 training, and thereby successfully rebutted plaintiff's prima facie case.*fn2

The Court agrees with defendant's contention that plaintiff was not qualified for a 2043 assignment while he was restricted from working 8 hours a day. Plaintiff has offered no evidence at all that there were part time 204Bs. Furthermore, a supervisor's position, which a 2043 temporarily replaces, is a full time job, and a 2043 must be able to fill in whenever the supervisor is out. The 2043 must thus be available for the supervisor's whole shift. Employing a part time 2043 would therefore require defendant to employ two 2043s to ensure that the supervisor was covered during his entire shift. This presents an undue hardship to the employer, and is not a reasonable accommodation. See, e.g., Lamb v. Qualex, Inc., 2002 WL 500492, at *10 (4th Cir. Apr. 3, 2002) (holding that "[plaintiff's] request that [defendant] create a new part-time ADS job for him was unreasonable and would impose an undue hardship on [defendant]"); Treanor v. MCI Telecommunications Corp., 200 F.3d 570, 575 (3th Cir. 2000) (finding that an employer is not required ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.