A pro se Plaintiff filed a lawsuit against Amazon.com Services, LLC (“Employer”) and other individually named Defendants on October 25, 2021, alleging disability discrimination. Plaintiff also alleged a retaliation claim associated with her filing of a workers’ compensation claim in March 2018. Plaintiff did not identify any federal statute underpinning her claims. She subsequently filed a EEOC right to sue letter on February 17, 2022, after which she requested an extension to amend her complaint.
Plaintiff’s EEOC charge included allegations against Employer for retaliation under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the state law counterpart Delaware Persons with Disabilities Employment Protections Act.
Employer moved to dismiss Plaintiff’s claims as it argued Plaintiff was not engaged in any activity protected under the ADA or Title VII. Plaintiff’s response to Employer’s Motion raised new facts not brought in her original Complaint.
While the Court construes pro se pleadings liberally, the Court does not allow the amendment of pleadings through a motion response like Plaintiff attempted in this case.
The Court noted that Plaintiff would not be able to raise any ADA claims against the individually named Defendants, as that is against the prevailing caselaw in the Third Circuit.
Moreover, the Court held that Plaintiff’s filing of a workers’ compensation claim was not a protected activity under Title VII or the ADA, and therefore Plaintiff did not make a prima facie retaliation claim. To make matters worse for Plaintiff, the Court noted that Plaintiff’s workers’ compensation retaliation claim, if any, was barred under the two-year statute of limitations provided in 19 Del. C. § 2365.
Nevertheless, the Court found that Plaintiff’s ADA claims as to disability accommodations could be properly pled with the amendment of her complaint, and as such the Court granted Plaintiff’s motion to amend her complaint as to her ADA claims for discrimination and failure to accommodate.
Should you have any questions regarding this decision, or any employment law questions please contact any attorney in our Liability Department.
Walley v. Amazon.com, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 21-1498-GBW, D.Del., September 16, 2022.