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Unformatted text preview: itten rebuttal was not a request for a
reasonable accommodation, the Department's duty to engage in the "interactive process"
was triggered when it discovered that she was in the hospital. This court is unpersuaded
by this argument because Zihala never contacted the Department to explain the nature of 191 her alleged disability so that the Department could determine what specific
accommodations would have been necessary for her to return to work. Instead of
providing such information, Zihala took the position in her written rebuttal to the predisciplinary hearing that she was able to perform her job. She also submitted a letter from
her doctor indicating that she could return to work. This letter gave no indication that she
needed any special accommodation for her mental condition. Because Zihala was the
only person that could ensure that the Department was aware of her limitations, she was
responsible for the breakdown in the interactive process. See Beck, 75 F.3d at 1136
(indicating that, when missing information is such that it could only have been [*25]
provided by one of the parties, the party who failed to provide such information may be
responsible for the breakdown).
In summary, we find that there is insufficient evidence to enable a reasonable jury to
conclude that the Department breached its duty to reasonably accommodate Zihala. The
undisputed evidence reveals that Zihala neither requested a reasonable accommodation
nor disclosed information concerning her alleged disability that would give the
Department reason to believe that an accommodation was necessary. Indeed, Zihala has
consistently taken the position that she could perform her job with the Department. Zihala
even fails to describe in her brief any reasonable accommodations for her alleged mental
illness. Accordingly, we conclude that summary judgment is appropriate on Zihala's
reasonable accommodation claim.
For all of the foregoing reasons, defendant's motion for summary judgment is granted.
It is so ordered.
Wayne R. Andersen
United States Distric...
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This note was uploaded on 09/30/2012 for the course ENC 102 taught by Professor Deria during the Spring '08 term at FIU.
- Spring '08