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Pena v. Honeywell International, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

July 22, 2019

MAYRA F. PENA, Plaintiff, Appellant,
v.
HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL, INC., Defendant, Appellee.

          Before, Howard, Chief Judge, Torruella, Stahl, Lynch, Lipez, Thompson, Kayatta, and Barron, Circuit Judges.

          ORDER OF COURT

         Appellant Mayra F. Pena's petition for rehearing en banc having been submitted to the active judges of this court and a majority of the judges not having voted that the case be heard en banc, it is ordered that the petition for rehearing en banc be denied.

         Pursuant to First Circuit Internal Operating Procedure X(C), the petition for rehearing en banc has also been treated as a petition for rehearing before the original panel. The petition for panel rehearing is denied by a majority of the panel of judges who decided the case. It is ordered that the petition for panel rehearing be denied.

          LYNCH AND STAHL, CIRCUIT JUDGES.

         Pena's petition misconstrues the majority opinion, which is fact-specific and concludes on the facts of record that Pena failed to meet the requirements laid out in Cleveland v. Policy Management Systems Corporation, 526 U.S. 795 (1999), to defeat summary judgment. On the facts of record, Pena did not satisfy her burden under Cleveland to provide an explanation "sufficient to warrant a reasonable juror's concluding that, assuming the truth of, or the plaintiff's good-faith belief in, the earlier statement, the plaintiff could nonetheless 'perform the essential functions' of her job, with or without 'reasonable accommodation.'" Id. at 807.

         The record shows that Pena was given multiple opportunities throughout her deposition to clarify her position that despite the Social Security Administration's finding that she was totally disabled on March 8, 2013, the last day she worked at Honeywell, she was still capable of working. For example:

Q: When you said in the sentence, you know, "I became unable to work because of my disabling condition," did you mean that you were unable to do any work?
A: Yes, at that time when I stated that, yes, because I was under a lot of medications, and my depression increased.
Q: Okay. And as we've already discussed, your application has been approved, and Social Security found that you are fully disabled and, therefore, unable to work; do you understand that?
A: Yes.
Soon after that exchange, Pena was asked directly about the issue at hand:
Q: Ms. Pena, can you explain why on the one hand you applied for disability benefits and said that you were unable to work at all as of March 8, 2013 and that was found to be accurate, and on the other hand you then assert a claim against Honeywell, which includes an assertion that if you had been given an accommodation, you could have done your job? Can you explain that to me?
A: About the lawsuit when I went to ...

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