On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Mercer County, Docket No. L-3127-07.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted December 8, 2010
Before Judges Fuentes and Nugent.
Plaintiff Eileen Zack appeals from the order of the Law Division granting defendants' motion for summary judgment and dismissing her complaint that alleged discrimination under the Law Against Discrimination (LAD), N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 to -42, and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), 29 U.S.C.A. §§ 2601-2654.*fn1 We affirm.
Because the trial court decided this case as a matter of law, our review is de novo. See Manalapan Realty, L.P. v. Twp. Comm. of Manalapan, 140 N.J. 366, 378 (1995). We will thus review the record developed before the trial court in the light most favorable to plaintiff, giving her the benefits of all rational inferences. Brill v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 142 N.J. 520, 536 (1995). In addition, defendants must show there is no genuine issue as to any material fact in dispute.
R. 4:46-2(c). Mindful of this standard of review, the following facts will inform our analysis of the issues raised by plaintiff in this appeal.
Plaintiff began working for the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development in 1992. In 2005, she suffered a work-related accident when she struck her head on a metal cabinet. She was diagnosed as suffering from post-concussion syndrome accompanied by a hypersensitivity to light and certain odors. This caused cognitive impairment and often triggered migraine headaches. Based on these related visual and physical disabilities, plaintiff sought and was provided with various forms of accommodations.
In February 2006, plaintiff was transferred into the Employee Human Resources Services Department located on the seventh floor. She requested, as a formal accommodation, to relocate her cubicle or workstation away from a co-worker who used a particular perfume. Because this relocation resulted in her being closer to the window, plaintiff also sought an accommodation to address her sensitivity to light.
ADA*fn2 Coordinator Christine Purcell responded to plaintiff's request for an accommodation and relocated her workstation away from the window, removed the light fixture above her cubicle, provided a glare screen for her computer, and arranged to minimize plaintiff's interaction with co-workers by assigning a one-day-a-week schedule to the only co-worker in plaintiff's immediate vicinity. Plaintiff was also permitted to wear sunglasses and a hat at work. On March 22, 2006, plaintiff signed a closure letter indicating her satisfaction with the accommodations provided to her.*fn3
In February 2007, plaintiff's work unit was moved to the twelfth floor. Plaintiff sought accommodations similar to those provided to her while on the seventh floor. Defendants again responded by locating her workstation away from the windows, installing a glare screen on her computer, and removing overhead lights above her cubicle. Lights from neighboring cubicles were also considered; one cubicle did not have lights and the other cubicle's lights were turned off.
By letter dated February 21, 2007, ADA Coordinator Purcell wrote to plaintiff's neurologist Dr. John A. Detre requesting:
(1) a diagnosis of plaintiff's condition; (2) a description of the nature and severity of her symptoms; (3) an opinion as to whether her medical condition would "preclude her from performing ...