Two recent published decisions of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit provide continued guidance to employers and their counsel on issues that frequently arise in the workplace. The first, Chinery v. American Airlines, No. 18-3118, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 22213 (3d Cir. July 25, 2019), affirms summary judgment in favor of the employer in a case of alleged online harassment. The second, Ehnert v. Washington Penn Plastic, No. 18-3364, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 22434 (3d Cir. July 29, 2019), affirms judgment in favor of the employer where the employee argued that he was “qualified” to work under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) at the same time he was seeking long term disability benefits. While neither of the decisions are precedential, unpublished decisions continue to provide guidance to all potential parties.
Offensive Facebook Postings
In Chinery v. American Airlines, Melissa Chinery worked as a flight attendant for American Airlines based out of Philadelphia. She was represented by the Association of Professional Flight Attendants Union and ran for president of its Philadelphia local chapter in November 2014. Chinery lost the election, but claimed that during its course and thereafter, she was harassed by a group of flight attendants who were part of a Facebook group used primarily by Philadelphia-based flight attendants. American Airlines had nothing to do with the Facebook group and there was no evidence that the company was aware of posts within the group.
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