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HOSLER v. GREENE

May 19, 1998

LYNN HOSLER, Plaintiff,
v.
HAROLD ALAN GREENE, Individually; CHAMPLAIN VALLEY OPTICAL ENTERPRISES, INC.; HAROLD ALAN GREENE, d/b/a MALONE EYE ASSOCIATES; and MALONE EYE ASSOCIATES, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MCAVOY

MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

 Plaintiff Lynn Hosler alleges disability and pregnancy-based discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. ("ADA"), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act ("PDA"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k), and New York Human Rights Law, Executive Law § 290 et seq. ("HRL"). Currently before the Court is Defendants' motion for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

 I. BACKGROUND

 Lynn Hosler was employed as a receptionist by defendant Malone Eye Associates. Defendant Harold Greene is the sole shareholder and executive officer of defendant Champlain Valley Optical Enterprises, Inc., which operates two eyeglass stores, defendant Malone Eye Associates and the Optical Center, located in Malone and Plattsburgh, New York.

 In the spring of 1995, Hosler and her husband were attempting to conceive a child. Hosler apparently underwent fertility treatment and eventually became pregnant. In July, 1995, Hosler informed Greene that she needed to take unpaid sick leave because of complications related to her pregnancy. Beginning on July 25, 1995, Hosler went on unpaid leave. She gave birth to twins on November 8, 1995. In December, 1995, Hosler's doctor placed her on disability leave stating that Hosler was disabled from working until March 1, 1996, because of complications related to her pregnancy.

 According to Greene, he agreed to allow Hosler to take unpaid leave for at least 12-weeks. During her absence, Greene hired two "temporary" replacements for Hosler. The first replacement lasted approximately three weeks. The second replacement, Tammy Fredette, worked at Malone Eye Associates for five months. In January 1996, six months after Hosler went on leave, Fredette notified Greene that she had an offer for permanent employment with another employer. Fredette also told Greene she wanted to continue to work for him, but she needed to know if her job as receptionist would become permanent.

 On January 16, 1996, Hosler notified Greene that she would return to work after her disability ended, on March 1, 1996. When she sensed her job was in "jeopardy," however, Hosler told Greene she would see if her doctor could clear her to return to work on February 1, 1996. Although it is unclear from the record when, or if, Hosler actually met with her doctor prior to February 1, she did not receive clearance to return to work prior to March 1, 1996. *fn1"

 On January 21, 1996, Greene notified Hosler that he decided to offer permanent employment to Tammy Fredette. At the time of her termination from employment, January 21, 1996, Hosler remained on disability leave.

 On April 2, 1996, Hosler filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). The EEOC dismissed Hosler's complaint on the ground the Champlain Valley Optical Enterprises "employs less than the required [fifteen] employees." (Stewart Aff., Ex. C). Hosler then filed the instant Complaint alleging that she was terminated because of her pregnancy and complications related thereto, in violation of the PDA, ADA and HRL. Defendants dispute these allegations and have moved for summary judgment.

 II. DISCUSSION

 A. Summary Judgment Standard

 Pursuant to Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a court may grant summary judgment if it appears "that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986). The substantive law will determine what facts are material to the outcome of a case. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 250.

 Initially, the moving party has the burden of informing the court of the basis of its motion. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986). If the moving party satisfies its burden, the burden then shifts to the non-moving party to come forward with "specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e). The Court must then resolve all ambiguities and draw all reasonable inferences against the moving party. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586, 89 L. Ed. 2d 538, 106 S. Ct. 1348 (1986). The non-moving party, however, must do more than simply show "that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 586. Only when the Court ...


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