United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
Glen E. Conrad Judge.
United States District Judge.
Joseph Gregory Cash ("Cash") brings this action
against his former employer, Magic City Motor Corporation
("Magic City"), alleging discrimination in
violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act
("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et
seq. The case is currently before the court on Magic
City's motion to dismiss plaintiffs amended complaint.
For the reasons stated, the court will grant in part and deny
in part the defendant's motion to dismiss.
following facts, taken from the plaintiffs amended complaint,
are accepted as true for purposes of the defendant's
motions to dismiss. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S.
89, 94 (2007).
September of 2010 through August of 2013, Cash worked at
Magic City's Roanoke location as a Service Director. Am.
Comp. ¶ 8. He left for another employment opportunity,
but came back on April 19, 2015 to work as a Service Advisor
at Magic City's Lexington location. Id. ¶
8-9. Throughout the duration of his employment, Cash was a
model employee and received positive feedback. Id.
17, 2015, a day when Cash was not working, he felt ill.
Id. ¶ 11. He contacted his supervisor and
requested the next day off, a request which was granted.
Id. ¶ 13-14. Cash's physician excused him
from work from May 18, 2015 until June 8, 2015. Id.
¶ 15. Cash was diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer, which
required endoscopic surgery and various tests. At all
relevant times, Cash and his wife were in communication with
a supervisor at Magic City, Jay Zane ("Zane"),
regarding Cash's condition. Cash also informed Zane and
others that he suffered from anemia and that the bleeding
ulcer prevented Cash from effectively treating his anemia.
Id. ¶ 16-19.
around June 9, 2015, Cash returned to work with a note from
his physician, asking Magic City to allow Cash to work
full-time in Roanoke or, in the alternative, half days from
Cash's regular Lexington location. Id. ¶
20. In response, Zane confronted Cash and told him that his
position in Lexington would be filled by someone else.
Id. ¶ 23. Zane also stated that Cash's
salary would decrease from $1, 250.00 per week to $800.00 per
week. Id. ¶ 24-26. Cash requested the
opportunity to return to the Lexington location at his
original salary once his condition improved, which Zane
denied. Id. ¶ 24, 26. At some point, Zane also
accused Cash of being unable to work for a period of time in
April of 2012 when Cash had his hip replaced. Id.
¶ 25. Cash stopped working on or around June 19, 2015,
as he could not make ends meet with the reduced salary.
Id. ¶ 28-29.
April 21, 2016, Cash filed a four-count complaint alleging
violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act
("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq. On
July 1, 2016, the court held a hearing on defendant's
motion to dismiss. The court granted plaintiffs oral motion
for leave to amend and took under advisement defendant's
motion to dismiss. On July 30, 2016, plaintiff filed a
five-count amended complaint, alleging: (1) discrimination;
(2) discriminatory discharge; (3) failure to accommodate; (4)
retaliation; and (5) discrimination for being "regarded
as" having a disability. The matter has been fully
briefed and is ripe for review.
purpose of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion is to test the sufficiency
of a complaint." Edwards v. City of Goldsboro,
178 F.3d 231, 243 (4th Cir. 1999). When deciding a motion to
dismiss under this rule, the court must accept as true all
well-pleaded allegations and draw all reasonable factual
inferences in the plaintiffs favor. Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); see also Vitol. S.A.
v. Primerose Shipping Co.. 708 F.3d 527, 539 (4th Cir.
2013). The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure "require 
only a 'short and plain statement of the claim showing
that the pleader is entitled to relief, ' in order to
'give the defendant fair notice of what the ... claim is
and the grounds upon which it rests.'" Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly. 550 U.S. 554, 555 (2007) (quoting
Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)).
Accordingly, "[w]hile a complaint attacked by a Rule
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual
allegations, a plaintiffs obligation to provide the grounds
of his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and
conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a
cause of action will not do." Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 555 (internal citation and quotation marks omitted). To
survive dismissal for failure to state a claim, "a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, . to 'state a claim for relief that is plausible on
its face.'" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (2009)
(quoting Twombly. 550 U.S. at 570). "[W]here
the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more
than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has
alleged-but it has not 'shown'-'that the pleader
is entitled to relief.'" Iqbal. 556 U.S. at
678 (citing Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 8(a)(2)).
ADA, as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (the
"ADAAA"), prohibits discrimination "against a
qualified individual on the basis of disability in regard to
. .. the hiring, advancement, or discharge of employees, . .
. and other terms, conditions, and privileges of
employment." 42 U.S.C. § 12112(a). A qualified
individual is one who "with or without reasonable
accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the
employment position that such individual holds or
desires." 42 U.S.C. § 12111(8). A
"disability" means "a physical or mental
impairment that substantially limits one or more major life
activities of such individual; ... a record of such
impairment;... or being regarded as having such an
impairment." 42 U.S.C. § 12102. "[M]ajor life
activities include, but are not limited to, caring for
oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating,
sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking,
breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking,
communicating, and working." Id. §
12102(2)(A). Whether a plaintiff is disabled is a question of
law for the court. See Hooven-Lewis v. Caldera. 249
F.3d 259, 268 (4th Cir. 2001) ("Whether [the plaintiff]
meets the definition of the statute, and therefore can bring
a claim under the statute, is a question of law for a court,
not a question of fact for a jury."). Pursuant to the
ADAAA and its regulations, the definition of disability
"shall be construed in favor of broad coverage of
individuals." 42 U.S.C. § 12102(4)(A).
Discrimination in ...