United States District Court, W.D. Texas, Austin Division
PITMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court are Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment,
(Dkt. 43), the responsive pleadings, and Wincor's
Objections to and Opposed Motion to Strike Portions of the
Declaration Submitted in Support of Plaintiff's Response
to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment, (Dkt. 48).
Having reviewed the filings, the relevant law, and the
factual record, the Court issues the following order.
Santos's Employment and Termination
claims in this case arise out of Defendant Wincor Nixdorf,
Inc.'s (“Wincor”) termination of Plaintiff
Michelle Santos's (“Santos”) employment.
Santos began working for Wincor in October 2014 in Austin,
Texas as a Project Analyst. (Santos Dec., Dkt. 45-1, at 1).
Staffmark-a staffing agency-placed Santos in the position and
administered her payroll, but Wincor directed and supervised
Santos's work. (Id.). Santos's supervisor at
Wincor was Danielle Mathews (“Mathews”).
(Id.). Mathews testified in her deposition that she
“always” intends for Staffmark's placements
to become permanent employees of Wincor. (Mathews Depo., Dkt.
45-3, at 64-65). Santos never made it that far.
month into her job, in November 2014, Santos notified Mathews
that she was pregnant. (Dkt. 45-1, at 2). For the next few
months, Santos's work continued in much the same way as
it had since she began working there in October.
(Id.). Santos was as an hourly, non-exempt employee
earning $25 per hour. (Def. Mot. Summ. J., Dkt. 43, at 3; Pay
stubs, Dkt. 43-3). She worked in the finance department of
Wincor's Logistics Facility and received overtime pay if
she recorded more than 45 hours of work in one week. (Def.
Mot. Summ. J., Dkt. 43, at 3; Pay stubs, Dkt. 43-3).
Staffmark placements, like Santos, were trained on the job
for about six months, rather than completing a formal
training program. (Dkt. 45-1, at 1; Dkt. 45-3, at 79-80).
the end of January 2015, Santos's physician instructed
her to work from home because of several serious
pregnancy-related conditions that developed during her
high-risk pregnancy. (Dkt. 45-1, at 1). Santos sent Mathews
an email explaining her situation:
Hope you had a good weekend.
This email is concerning my recent stay at the hospital.
Please note that unfortunately I'm having complications
with my pregnancy and need your support and understanding
with the following please.
I know you've expressed to me several times that you do
not mind me working from home which is great because right
now I really need to accept your offer.
Due to complications I'm having with my high[-risk]
pregnancy I need to work from home. After conversation with
Dr regarding my condition and regarding work, please note
that I'm still able to work and fully perform all my
duties however with a few accommodations at home.
Please confirm if this is a reasonable accommodation with
I know my high risk pregnancy has been a bit challenging for
me but thank God I'm finally at ¶ 3rd trimester an
God willing I will have my baby in my arms soon. As we
discussed recently on my 1 on 1, Dr will be inducing me on
the 13th of March and as we've previously discussed and
agreed, I'm only planning on taking that first week off
to heal (03/16 thru 03/20) after that, I will work a couple
of weeks from home (that way I can breast feed and bond with
baby's first days of life) and then things shall resume
Upon review, please kindly provide feedback.
Awaiting your reply…
Michelle C. Santos
2015 emails, Dkt. 45-5, at 5-6).
Please send me the Dr's note regarding the below. Working
at home on a short term basis on the days you aren't
feeling well is different from what you are proposing. I do
commiserate with your situation and hope we can make this
After recent conversations here, I'm a little concerned
with your motivation. I'm also concerned with how we can
make some recent adjustments work while you are not in the
office, i.e. emails. Please provide your thoughts on how we
can work on this situation.
(Id. at 5).
replied to Mathews with the note from the doctor and
expressed that she was “very motivated” and
proposed sending draft emails to Mathews for her approval.
(Id.). Mathews forwarded the email thread with
Santos to Chad Lyon (“Lyon”), who was her contact
at Staffmark. (Id. at 1). In her email to Lyon,
I wanted to keep you in the loop on the below.
I haven't come up with a plan, yet, or decided what I
want to do. We had been having a few problems, and though
overall Michelle is a smart woman, I don't like the idea
of a contractor still in ...