United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Thomas E. Marshall, Esq. and Engelmeier & Umanah, P.A., Minneapolis, MN, counsel for plaintiff.
Jonathan P. Norrie, Esq., Kerri J. Nelson, Esq. and Bassford Remele, PA, Minneapolis, MN, counsel for defendant.
David S. Doty, United States District Judge.
This matter is before the court upon the motion to exclude expert testimony and the motion for summary judgment by defendant Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS). Based on a review of the file, record and proceedings herein, and for the following reasons, the court grants the motion for summary judgment and denies as moot the motion to exclude.
This employment dispute arises out of the December 2011 decision by MPS to not recall plaintiff Danny Fischer from layoff status. Fischer began working for MPS as a Janitor Engineer in March 2008. Compl. ¶ 3. On July 1, 2010, Fischer was placed on layoff status from which he was eligible to be recalled. See Fischer Dep. 33:25.
On December 8, 2011, MPS contacted Fischer to initiate his recall. Id. Ex. 6, at MPS00260. As part of the recall process, MPS required Fischer to pass a physical assessment administered by Cost Reduction Technologies, LLC (CRT). See id. Ex. 7, at MPS00263. The assessment " measure[d] the physical strength put forth by the individual on [an] isokinetic CRT machine." Crosby Decl. ¶ 6. As part of the assessment, participants were required to operate the CRT apparatus using their arms, legs and back. Fischer Dep. 46:21-23. MPS required all Janitor Engineers subject to recall after August 2011 to earn a score of at least 201 on the assessment, which corresponded to a designation of " Medium-Heavy." Crosby Decl. ¶ 3. Such designations related to different positions of employment with MPS to which were assigned specified ranges based on the physical demands of each position. See, e.g., Bendel Dep. Ex. 18, at DF-098. MPS policies did not permit individuals to retake the assessment if they did not pass on the first attempt. Bendel Decl. ¶ 2.
Fischer received a composite score of 197.5, which corresponded to a physical strength designation of " Medium." Fischer Dep. Ex. 9, at DF-095. The composite score was computed using scores from portions of the exam relating to arm, leg and back performance. See Fischer Dep. 69:25-70:4. CRT determined that Fischer had passed the portions of the exam relating to arm and leg strength, but that the evaluation of his back placed his composite score below the " Medium-Heavy" range. Id. In mid- December, CRT communicated Fischer's composite score to MPS. See Crosby Decl. ¶ 5. On December 18, 2011, MPS contacted Fischer and informed him that he had failed the CRT assessment and would not be recalled. Fischer Dep. 54:4-7. Fischer requested to retake the examination, but was not allowed to do so. Compl. ¶ 14. In late January, CRT President Brett Crosby told Fischer that the
score specific to Fischer's back had negatively impacted the composite score. Fischer Dep. 69:7-70:10. MPS thereafter told Fischer that he had not been recalled " because of [his] back and [because he] didn't pass a physical." Id. at 90:9-21.
On September 20, 2012, Fischer filed a complaint, alleging (1) disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) and (2) reprisal under the MHRA. MPS moves for summary judgment. MPS also moves to exclude ...