Andrea Mosby-Meachem v. Memphis Light, Gas & Water Div.

RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION Pursuant to Sixth Circuit I.O.P. 32.1(b) File Name: 18a0034p.06 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT ANDREA J. MOSBY-MEACHEM, ┐ Plaintiff-Appellee, │ │ > No. 17-5483 v. │ │ │ MEMPHIS LIGHT, GAS & WATER DIVISION, │ Defendant-Appellant. │ ┘ Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee at Memphis. No. 2:14-cv-02156—John Thomas Fowlkes, Jr., District Judge. Argued: January 25, 2018 Decided and Filed: February 21, 2018 Before: GIBBONS, GUY, and COOK, Circuit Judges. _________________ COUNSEL ARGUED: Michael D. Tauer, GLANKLER BROWN, PLLC, Memphis, Tennessee, for Appellant. Adam W. Hansen, APOLLO LAW LLC, Minneapolis, Minnesota, for Appellee. ON BRIEF: Michael D. Tauer, Saul C. Belz, Miska L. Shaw, GLANKLER BROWN, PLLC, Memphis, Tennessee, for Appellant. Adam W. Hansen, APOLLO LAW LLC, Minneapolis, Minnesota, William B. Ryan, Janelle Osowski, DONATI LAW FIRM LLP, Memphis, Tennessee, for Appellee. No. 17-5483 Mosby-Meachem v. Memphis Light, Gas & Water Divison Page 2 _________________ OPINION _________________ JULIA SMITH GIBBONS, Circuit Judge. Andrea Mosby-Meachem, an in-house attorney for Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division, was denied a request to work from home for ten weeks while she was on bedrest due to complications from pregnancy. Following trial, a jury found in favor of Mosby-Meachem on her claim for disability discrimination and awarded her compensatory damages. The district court also granted Mosby-Meachem’s motion for equitable relief and awarded her backpay for the period in which MLG&W did not permit her to telework. MLG&W moved for judgment as a matter of law or, in the alternative, a new trial, asserting that the evidence produced at trial and binding Sixth Circuit precedent precluded any reasonable jury from determining that Mosby-Meachem was a qualified individual while on bedrest because in- person attendance was an essential function of her job. The district court denied the motion and MLG&W appealed both the denial of its motion and the award of equitable relief. Because Mosby-Meachem produced sufficient evidence at trial for a reasonable jury to conclude that in- person attendance was not an essential function of her job for the 10-week period in which she requested to telework and the Sixth Circuit precedent relied upon by MLG&W is materially distinguishable from the facts of this case, we affirm the orders of the district court. I. Andrea Mosby-Meachem has worked as an in-house attorney for Memphis Light, Gas & Water Division (“MLG&W”) since 2005. Her position title at MLG&W was Attorney 3.1 1 The Job Description for the Attorney 3 position lists “essential functions” as follows: 1. Perform senior level legal assistance to prosecute and defend, in accordance with the Vice President & General Counsel, all suits by or against the Division; and provide analysis and counsel on legal, policy, compliance issues, and actual or anticipated lawsuits. 2. Review and evaluate investigations; based on laws or facts, determine the method of investigation, its extent, legal sufficiency of evidence, applicable laws and the basis and method of settlement. If settlement is not indicated, determine ...

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