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Unformatted text preview: ot suspect from Zihala's behavior that she was suffering from a mental
Because the Department has proffered legitimate reasons for its decision, the burden
shifts to Zihala to produce some evidence from which a rational factfinder could infer
that the Department has lied about its reasons for discharging her. Weisbrot, 79 F.3d at
681. Zihala claims that, while Dr. Pirl's recommendation to discharge Zihala was
pending, the Department received notice on several occasions that Zihala was suffering
from a mental illness: (1) on December 21 and 22 her mother informed the Department
that she was in the hospital; (2) on January 5 she told Dr. Pirl and an administrative
assistant that she had been raped on December 18 and had a "nervous breakdown;" (3)
she gave the Department written authorization from her doctor to return to work which
indicated that she had a "Psychoaffective disorder;" and (4) the union filed a written
rebuttal indicating that she suffered from "some illness." Zihala concludes that this
evidence raises factual questions as to when the Department "determined to terminate the
plaintiff, [*18] for exactly what reasons, and whether their knowledge of her mental
illness caused their decision." (Mem. Opp. at 6).
Although this evidence may raise a factual issue as to whether the Department was aware
of Zihala's alleged disability before it adopted Dr. Pirl's decision to discharge Zihala, it
provides no insight as to whether the Department has lied about its reasons for
discharging Zihala. As noted above, Zihala's discharge evaluation and Dr. Pirl's
uncontroverted affidavit testimony establish that the Department discharged Zihala
because of her poor work performance and her disruptive behavior. Rather than pointing
to portions of the record that rebut this evidence, Zihala merely proclaims that "she
strongly disputes the truth of the remarks" in her discharge evaluation. Absent evidence
calling into question the reasons the Department has proffered for its decision to
discharge Zihala, a jury would be left to infer that the Department must have discharged
Zihala because of her alleged disability because it had kn...
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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