United States District Court, D. Kansas
BRENDA A. FEARS, Plaintiff,
UNIFIED GOVERNMENT OF WYANDOTTE COUNTY/KANSAS CITY, KANSAS, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
KATHRYN H. VRATIL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
November 22, 2017, Brenda A. Fears filed a complaint against
the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City,
Kansas, alleging employment claims under Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et
seq., and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42
U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq. Complaint (Doc.
#1). This matter is before the Court on defendant's
unopposed motion for summary judgment. Defendant's
Motion For Summary Judgment (Doc. #52) filed July 3,
2019. For reasons stated below, the Court sustains
following facts are deemed admitted.
1983, plaintiff, who is black, was diagnosed with a
progressive eye disease. In 2006, defendant hired plaintiff
as an administrative support assistant in the Register of
Deeds office. In 2012, plaintiff's vision took a turn for
the worse. To address her increasing visual impairment,
plaintiff's supervisors provided her with reasonable
plaintiff's vision continued to deteriorate, she made
frequent mistakes in her work and received multiple
performance warnings. On one occasion, defendant suspended
her for one day for incorrectly recording a filing fee.
September 21, 2015, plaintiff filed a complaint with the
mayor and the human resources department, alleging race
discrimination. On September 24, 2015, plaintiff's union
filed a grievance on her behalf alleging disparate treatment
based on race, but did not pursue it.
attempted additional accommodations for plaintiff's
visual impairment, but her performance continued to decline.
Plaintiff's supervisor eventually concluded that she was
unable to perform the essential functions of her job.
April 19, 2016, defendant placed plaintiff on paid leave
while defendant's human resources office looked for
another job that plaintiff could perform. Plaintiff, however,
was unable to pass the required skills test for any open
10, 2016, plaintiff exhausted her paid leave time and
defendant placed her on administrative leave for 60 days.
August of 2016, defendant placed plaintiff on an unpaid leave
of absence pending her application for disability benefits
from the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System
(“KPERS”). In her KPERS application, plaintiff
stated that she was unable to perform her job or any
substantial gainful activity because of her vision and other
February of 2017, KPERS granted plaintiff's application
for disability benefits effective October 18, 2016. KPERS
determined that plaintiff was unable to perform the duties of
her occupation due to her “physical conditions of
vision, hypertension and shortness of breath that started on
April 21, 2016.” After receiving notice that
plaintiff's KPERS application was approved, defendant
terminated her employment effective October 18, 2016.
January 14, 2017, the Social Security Administration
(“SSA”) granted plaintiff's application for
disability benefits. The SSA found that plaintiff became
disabled on April 20, 2016. In her application for Social
Security benefits, plaintiff stated that she became unable to
work on April 20, 2016 because of her “disabling
1, 2017, plaintiff filed a charge with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), alleging that
defendant committed discriminatory and retaliatory acts
before removing her from her position and terminating her
employment on August 9, 2016.
November 22, 2017, plaintiff filed a complaint against
defendant. As best the Court can ascertain and construed
liberally, plaintiff asserts the following claims: (1)
wrongful termination based on disability; (2) wrongful
termination based on race; (3) failure to accommodate
disability; (4) discrimination in terms and conditions of
employment; (5) ...