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Unformatted text preview: response to the
charges addressed at the pre-disciplinary hearing. This four-page rebuttal generally
explains why Zihala's work performance was inadequate and acknowledges "that she
experienced some unusual difficulty but believes that given another opportunity she
would experience minimum problems in the future." The rebuttal also states that Zihala
"realizes that her behavior was not acceptable to management and agrees to do whatever
she is assigned to do by management." The rebuttal requests that the Department "at least
give her considerably more than the one week of evaluation she has received [*23] and
even the full extent of her probationary period for observation. . . . Ms. Zihala and the
union request that you would uphold that commitment long enough to effectively
After a careful review of this rebuttal, we do not believe that it constitutes a request for a
reasonable accommodation. The rebuttal gives no indication that Zihala was mentally
incapable of performing her job or that she needed an accommodation. In fact, the
rebuttal asserts just the opposite by claiming that Zihala has come to grips with the
problems she was causing at the Department and is committed to correcting "any
offensive or unacceptable behavior and concentrate on being the type of employee" the
Department needs. Although the rebuttal notes that Zihala was suffering some type of
illness during her first week with the Department, the rebuttal states that Zihala's
condition has "improved considerably" and she "retains the ability to perform
exceptionally as an employee." Thus, the clear message of the rebuttal is that Zihala can
adequately perform her job in the future but that she needs another chance to prove it. But
a second chance is not the same as a reasonable accommodation under the [*24] ADA.
Siefken v. Village of Arlington Heights, 65 F.3d 664, 666 (7th Cir. 1995).
Nevertheless, Zihala contends that, even if her wr...
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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