This is a lawsuit on behalf of a call center sales representative for discrimination based on disability by American Homes 4 Rent (“AH4R”). In early 2018, Plaintiff began experiencing health issues which limited her ability to perform her job on a full-time basis. Around February 2018, Plaintiff informed Defendant of her need to take occasional time off to accommodate her disability, and Defendant approved her accommodation and allowed Plaintiff to continue working while taking Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) approved leave one to two days per week. Around September of that year, Defendant placed Plaintiff on a performance improvement plan (“PIP”), even though her average showing and production rates were at or near the call center average, and many employees with similar or lesser performances had not been placed on a PIP like Plaintiff.
Plaintiff is informed that Defendant’s HR department actively targeted employees taking FMLA, disabled employees who were limited in their ability to perform work due to their disabilities, older employees, and other employees who belonged to protected classes such as older employees, women, and minorities. By encouraging supervisors to more closely watch and document these groups of protected employees, Defendant created paper trails that could later be used as pretexts to terminate such employees. Defendant subjected such employees to higher performance and disciplinary standards compared to other employees who did not fall within these groups. Throughout the Plaintiff’s employment, Defendant has consistently terminated a disproportionate number of these employees, which reflects its improper policy and practice of targeting such protected employees.
Plaintiff takes four causes of action:
1. Under the FMLA, employers are prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against an employee for exercising or attempting to exercise their FMLA rights. Plaintiff argues that Defendant willfully retaliated against her for taking leave to accommodate her disability in willful disregard of Plaintiff’s rights under the FMLA.
2. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), covered employers such as Defendant may not “discriminate against a qualified individual based on the basis of disability in regard to… [the] discharge of employees.” Plaintiff was a qualified individual under the ADA, and Defendant willfully and unlawfully discriminated against Plaintiff by terminating her employment on the basis of her disability.
3. Under Nevada’s equal employment opportunity laws, it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee on the basis of that employee’s disability.
4. The ADEA prohibits employment discrimination against persons 40 years of age or older. As Plaintiff is 49 years old, Plaintiff argues that Defendant discriminated against Plaintiff in violation of the ADEA by terminating her employment based on her age in combination with her disability and FMLA-approved leave.
This case is in the discovery phase and getting set for arbitration.
A copy of the complaint can be accessed here.