United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
M. Brinkema United States District Judge.
John Gill ("Gill" or "plaintiff) has sued his
former employer, defendant Genpact, LLC ("Genpact"
or "defendant"), on theories of breach of contract
(Count 1), quantum meruit (Count 2), violations of
the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") (Counts
3-5), and violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act
("FMLA") (Counts 6-7). The crux of Gill's
allegations is that after he was diagnosed with fibromyalgia
in December 2015, Genpact placed him on a Performance
Improvement Plan ("PIP"), leading to his eventual
termination; failed to reasonably accommodate his disability;
and failed to award him the full bonus he was due for 2015.
Before the Court is defendant's Motion for Summary
Judgment [Dkt. No. 33]. For the reasons stated in open court,
and more fully developed in this Memorandum Opinion,
defendant's motion will be granted.
parties do not dispute that on June 19, 2014, by a letter,
Genpact offered Gill the position of "Vice
President-Finance Transformation." Def. Mem. [Dkt. No.
34] Ex. 10 ("Offer Letter"). Gill signed the letter
the same day, id, and began working at Genpact shortly
thereafter. Gill was hired as the second "Band 1 Vice
President" in the CFO Consulting Group. PI. Opp. [Dkt.
No. 37] Ex. 18 ("Gill Aff.") ¶ 13. This group,
which had started in late 2013, was created to "change
the focus of Genpact" from being an "operator"
to being a "full service provider." Id.
Genpact's original focus involved helping companies move
in-house finance and accounting jobs to cheaper locations
like India, the Philippines, and Eastern Europe. Id.
¶ 11. Around 2013, an outside consulting firm suggested
to Genpact that it should also offer CFO consulting services
to encourage its clients to engage with it as a full-service
shop rather than as a one-time outsourcing consultant.
Id. Based on this recommendation, Genpact created
the CFO consulting group. When Gill was hired, he was put in
charge of the Finance & Accounting ("F&A")
consulting horizontal for the Business & Financial
Services and Capital Markets ("BFS") verticals.
Def. Mem. Ex. 10' Ghosh Decl.¶14.
consulting Vice President, Gill had three primary job
responsibilities. First, he had to work with sales teams to
develop business (i.e., he had to get companies
interested in hiring Genpact's consulting services,
often, it seems, as part of larger deals in which they would
also hire Genpact's outsourcing or other services).
Second, he had to develop "thought leadership"-
white papers or presentations that Genpact could use to
"provide [its] customers with a differentiated point of
view with different types of solutions and ideas."
Third, he had to develop and manage consulting teams once the
group had booked contracts. Id. ¶ 15.
end of 2014, some friction between Gill and Ghosh had begun
to show in their communications and feedback. In an email
exchange in December 2014, Ghosh admonished Gill for not
working well with the sales team and separately criticized
him for not "own[ing]" or "even tracking"
specific revenue and cost figures. See Def. Mem. Ex. 14.
Although Ghosh rated Gill as meeting expectations with
respect to each goal in his 2014 year-end review, the written
comments also showed that Ghosh had been receiving negative
feedback about Gill and had some frustrations of his own. See
Def. Mem. Ex. 15. For example, Ghosh wrote that Gill's
first half-year "started with the right intent and
focus" but that "2015 will be the year to show
results" and that there was "feedback from customer
and account teams about him being too generic and not taking
a discussion and topic to its logical depth."
Id. at 3-4. In addition, although Ghosh praised
Gill's "energy and focus, " he observed that
Gill "needs to become a thought leader in some dimension
of finance transformation" and Gill "needs to
ensure he drives any topic to its required depth and
conclusion." Id. at 5. Overall, Ghosh gave Gill
a 3.0 ("Medium") potential rating and an HV70
performance rating. Nevertheless, Gill was awarded a $142,
188 bonus in March 2015 for his work in 2014. Gill Aff.
with Gill's performance worsened through the first half
of 2015. In April, after Gill had complained to Ghosh about
an employee having a one-on-one meeting with the CFO of Wells
Fargo rather than including Gill in the meeting, Ghosh sent
Gill an email in which he said that the "feedback about
not seeing enough value through your involvement or
superfluous involvement in deals and client discussions"
has only "intensified" since the year-end review.
Def. Mem. Ex. 17. The email went on to state: "This kind
of impression feeds into a virtuous or vicious loop of
confidence of people one works with. Right now you are in the
vicious loop .... I don't believe I would do justice if I
soft peddle this. I don't know of any magic formula other
than two facts - (a) heads down real focused contribution in
your core area and very positive and inclusive communication
in all client opportunities where the internal team back
progressively At Genpact, employees were rated as being in
the top 20%, middle 70%, or bottom 10% of employees. The
"HV70" rating indicates that Gill was in the middle
70%. and results flow and (b) people have been there before
and I have seen turnarounds I think you will have to believe
in the feedback and decide it's worth your while to try
and do something different." Id. 
after this email, Ghosh sent a separate email to Thukral and
Scott McConnell, the head of the sales team, about
reorganizing the F&A consulting team. See Def. Mem. Ex.
18. Ghosh proposed moving Greg Derderian
("Derderian"), who was Gill's peer in the
insurance group, above Gill. In the email, Ghosh stated:
"It's very clear from both of you that you don't
have confidence in John gill [sic] on being the BFS
lead for F&A consulting and have a better sense on
confidence in Greg Derderian. In my view too, he's the
better bet to lead whole of BFSI as per my plans.... [M]ake
Greg the overall head [and h]ave John report to him and let
[Greg] drive the overall BFSI agenda." Id. In
addition, Ghosh noted in the email that he had already
provided feedback to Gill about his shortcomings but added
that he wanted to ensure that Gill had "a direct session
of feedback from [Thukral and McConnell] before [they]
announce[d] the change." Id. Thukral replied to
Ghosh's email agreeing with the change and saying:
"[T]his is the right thing to do for the company, I have
heard not good feedback [about Gill] from [a high-level
Genpact employee] as well in Europe, plus negative client
feedback that has been shared."McConnell followed up by
providing Gill with feedback mostly focused on his need to
improve how he collaborated with the other (non-CFO
Consulting) teams and to provide "[m]ore specific value
propositions" to clients. Def. Mem. Ex. 21.
Gill received this feedback, Genpact announced the
organizational realignment that placed Derderian between Gill
and Ghosh. One of Derderian's responsibilities as
Gill's new supervisor was to complete Gill's 2015
mid-year review, which he did in September 2015. Although
Derderian gave Gill ratings of "meets expectations"
in every category, shortly after completing this review,
Derderian was approached by Lee Kroll, a "practice
lead" in F&A services who regularly worked with
Gill. Kroll told Derderian that Gill was not an effective
teammate. See Def. Mem. 7, Ex. 25. Based on this complaint,
Derderian contacted a variety of individuals with whom Gill
worked to ask for feedback about his performance. From these
individuals, Derderian received mixed comments that skewed
negative. For example, McConnell told Derderian that a
"subset of the BFS sales team will no longer engage
with" Gill; that Gill is like a "hammer looking for
a nail" in that he does not provide client-specific
ideas; that Gill "does not utilize the coaching
provided" and "comes across as non-responsive to a
client ask or need"; that Gill needs "to increase
his collaboration to have a chance of succeeding with
Genpact"; that Gill did not "position thought
leadership for Genpact"; that the sales team
"[e]xpect[s] more from" Gill; and that Gill has had
"[m]inimal success in the US, " has "a
difficult time demonstrating value, " and is "not
the guy you want to bring to meet a CFO." Def. Mem. Ex.
30. The same types of concerns were echoed by other
co-workers, see Def. Mem. Exs. 31-36, and some co-workers
expressed more significant personal frustration with
Gill's performance. Kroll, for example, said that the
sales team perceived Gill as "arrogant and
condescending, " that Gill was "allergic to work,
" and that Gill "[c]onstantly ask[s] for things to
be moved to accommodate his schedule [but] then 50% of [the]
time either 1) shows up late or 2) not at all." Def.
Mem. Ex. 32.
some of the co-workers also provided positive feedback, it is
uncontested that Derderian was sufficiently concerned about
the feedback on the whole that he contacted Annie Kurian
("Kurian"), one of Genpact's HR professionals,
to discuss putting Gill on a PIP. Although the exact timeline
of their conversations is unclear, see Def. Mem. Ex. 11
("Kurian Dep.") 28:21-30:1, what is clear is that
on December 17, 2015, Derderian emailed the substantively
complete PIP to Kurian, Def. Mem. Exs. 37-38. In
his deposition, Derderian testified that he planned to give
Gill the now-completed PIP at a December 21 meeting,
Derderian Dep. 142:9-: 16; however, Gill canceled the
meeting, explaining that he had scheduled a doctor's
appointment that he needed to attend. Def. Mem. Ex. 46.
doctor's visit on December 21, Gill was diagnosed with
fibromyalgia and told by his doctor that he should take some
time off over the holidays. Id.; Def. Mem. Ex. 52.
The next day, Gill informed Derderian and HR personnel that
he would need to take a couple weeks off. Def. Mem. Exs. 46,
50. Derderian notified Kurian of the situation. Jeff Comerford
("Comerford"), a Senior Manager in HR, told Gill to
contact Genpact's leave management vendor for information
on the appropriate processes for short-term medical leave.
Def. Mem. Exs. 47, 50. On January 11, 2016, Genpact notified
Gill that he had been approved for FMLA leave for the
duration of his absence and would receive short-term
disability benefits for that time period. The same day, Gill
informed Comerford that he had received the appropriate
clearance from his doctor and would be returning to work.
Def. Mem. Ex. 55.
return to work on January 11 reactivated the PIP
process. On January 15, Derderian sent Gill the PIP
that he had substantively completed the previous month. Def.
Mem. Ex. 57; id Ex. 58 ("PIP"). The PIP identified
eight goals for Gill to meet by March 31, 2016, including
booking at least $5 million in consulting contracts that led
to at least $3.5 million in consulting revenue, realizing
personal billable utilization of 40%, providing specific
thought leadership documents, completing sales team
one-on-one updates, completing performance plans and goals
for his subordinates, demonstrating follow-up with sales team
members, adjusting his style to be more collaborative, and
participating in at least 8 account planning sessions. Def.
Mem. Ex. 58. The next week, on January 19, Gill responded to
the PIP with his own comments, in which he acknowledged the
adverse feedback in the PIP but questioned whether he could
meet the various quantitative goals. Def. Mem. Ex. 60
("I accept the report of the adverse feedback, and I am
very concerned with the nature of the feedback, and want to
do everything that I can to correct this, and return to a
status of a highly valued employee and leader.... I am
concerned; however [sic] the targets have been set
not to return me to success, but so far above even the
highest performers of my peer group. I am not sure that I
will be totally successful....").
did not make significant progress toward the PIP's
quantitative goals, and by February, he began asking around
Genpact for information about how he would be paid in the
event of his departure. For example, on February 2, he
emailed Comerford to inquire about how his accrued leave
would be paid out if he left Genpact at the end of March.
Def. Mem. Ex. 62. On February 29, he mentioned to a coworker
that he was looking for other jobs and inquired about when
bonuses for 2015 would be distributed. Def. Mem. Ex. 61.
February, Gill sent a memorandum to Kurian and Derderian, in
which he complained that the PIP was unfair and retaliatory
because it was issued in retaliation for his FMLA
leave/disability, was designed for him to fail and force his
termination by including unrealistic goals, and did not align
with his previous evaluations and feedback. Def. Mem. Ex.
Gill also wrote, "I anticipate needing reasonable
accommodations should this PIP remain in place."
Id. at 1. Kurian investigated Gill's
allegations. Three weeks later, she sent Gill a letter, in
which she explained that her investigation concluded that the
PIP was neither retaliatory nor unfair and in which she
responded to some of Gill's more tangential points about
alleged unfair treatment. Def. Mem. Exs. 65, 66.
March 8, 2016, Genpact informed Gill that he would receive a
bonus of $139, 500 for 2015. Def. Mem. Ex. 67. That figure
represented approximately 62% of his target bonus.
Id. Genpact's bonuses are calculated according
to a scorecard, on which different goals are given percentage
weights and individuals are evaluated according to how they
meet each goal. Although Gill was given full or more than
full credit in some areas (booking contracts and Total
F&A Consulting Revenue), he was given only half credit in
other areas. Def. Mem. Ex. 69. In particular, he was given
half credit for the revenue generated by the F&A
consulting group in the BFS verticals (because he was
demoted halfway through the year), for his thought leadership
production (because he made some progress on thought
leadership but did not complete the expected materials), and
for his people management (because his "team ramp-up was
slower than expected" and his mentoring had received
"mixed feedback, " although his attrition goal of
less than 35% had been met). Gill responded to this
calculation in an email to Kurian and Derderian, in which he
explained that he thought he should have been given full
credit for his group's revenue and his people
management. Def. Mem. Ex. 68.
early March, it became evident that Gill was not going to
meet the requirements of the PIP. For example, Derderian told
Gill on March 11 that he had "probably not [made] enough
progress as of that date" and that, if Derderian had to
rate Gill on that day, he would "have to say [Gill]
ha[d] failed, or at least that [Gill] ha[d] not shown solid
progress enough for [Derderian] to make a case to keep
[him]." Def. Mem. Ex. 71.
before the end date of his PIP, Gill emailed Kurian and
Derderian to request accommodations under the ADA. Def. Mem.
Ex. 72. Kurian responded by sending Gill the standard Genpact
accommodation form and asking him to have his treating health
provider fill out the form and return it to Kurian. Def. Mem.
Ex. 73. Gill returned a letter signed by his health care
provider that stated that Gill could perform all of his job
duties but identified 11 "areas" for discussion
about accommodations. Def. Mem. Ex. 77. These included:
• An opportunity to exercise and stretch during the
workday, either in the morning or afternoon
• A change in economically [sic] chairs to better
support the back
• In-home video conferencing facilities to improve
John's ability to see and hear people ...