Submitted February 12, 2015
Appeal from United States District Court for the District of Minnesota - Minneapolis.
For Marissa Walz, Plaintiff - Appellant: Mark Alan Greenman, Minneapolis, MN.
For Ameriprise Financial, Inc., Defendant - Appellee: Christopher Amundsen, Joel O'Malley, Melissa Raphan, DORSEY & WHITNEY, Minneapolis, MN.
Before GRUENDER, SHEPHERD, and KELLY, Circuit Judges.
GRUENDER, Circuit Judge.
Marissa Walz sued Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (" Ameriprise" ) alleging wrongful termination and failure to accommodate her disability. The district court granted Ameriprise's motion for summary judgment. Walz appeals this decision, and we affirm.
Marissa Walz worked for Ameriprise from 1996 to 2012 and received mostly positive reviews. Most recently, Walz worked as a Process Analyst in Ameriprise's Enterprise Operations Support department. Walz admitted that the ability to work well with others was important for her job. Walz also admitted that the Process Analyst position required people, teamwork, communication, and time-management skills. In fact, Walz was recruited for her position in part because she was " good at relationships."
Walz suffers from bipolar affective disorder, which caused her to interrupt meetings, disturb her coworkers, and disrespect her supervisor. Walz's behavioral problems were noticed first on March 16, 2012 when, during a meeting, she told a coworker to " [s]top interrupting me, you don't know what you are talking about," and then proceeded to scribble illegible notes on a whiteboard. After this incident, Walz's supervisor, Thad Radel, began documenting her conduct. Several of Walz's coworkers were disturbed by her behavior and independently reported their concerns to Radel. For instance, one coworker described Walz as " [m]anic" and explained that Walz was " [t]alking very rapidly and not making sense," " excited and easily agitated," and " sending e-mails that do not make sense."
Radel approached Walz several times to discuss her behavioral problems and to offer help. On March 19, 2012, after hearing reports from Walz's coworkers, Radel approached her to ask if she was okay. Walz was agitated and disparaged her coworkers. Walz also was rude and insubordinate towards Radel, stating, " [n]o one thinks your position is necessary" and " [t]here is no sense of direction since you came on board." Walz claimed that a coworker had referred to Radel as a " puppet." Radel spoke with Walz again the next morning and Walz was similarly erratic--even challenging Radel to fire her. Immediately after that encounter, Walz attended a meeting that she had scheduled with a group of coworkers. At the meeting,
Walz spoke in an erratic and confusing fashion that disturbed her peers. Walz abruptly ended the meeting after fifteen ...