United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Nathan A. Vincent, Plaintiff,
Resurrection Cemetery, Defendant.
Steven Whalen, United States Magistrate Judge
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT 
GERSHWIN A. DRAIN, United States District Judge
Nathan Vincent commenced this action on March 7, 2017.
See Dkt. No. 1. Vincent alleges that the Defendant
Mt. Elliot Cemetery Association d/b/a Resurrection Cemetery
violated federal law under the Americans with Disabilities
Act (“ADA”) through discriminating against him
(Count I) and retaliating against him (Count II). See
Id. at pp. 13-19 (Pg. ID 13-19). He also claims the
Defendant violated Michigan law pursuant to the Persons with
Disabilities Civil Rights Act (“MPDCRA”) through
discriminating against him (Count III) and retaliating
against him (Count IV). See id.
before the Court is the Defendant's Motion for Summary
Judgment on Counts I and II . The motion is fully briefed.
The Court will decide the motion without a hearing pursuant
to Eastern District of Michigan Local Rule 7.1(f)(2). For the
foregoing reasons, the Court will DENY the Defendant's
Motion for Summary Judgment on Counts I and II.
is a resident of Macomb County, Michigan. Dkt. No. 1, p. 2
(Pg. ID 2). The Defendant is a nonprofit organization based
in Clinton, Michigan, and the Defendant provides burial
Plaintiff was employed by the Defendant from October 15, 2014
until his termination on November 23, 2015. Id. at
pp. 2, 13 (Pg. ID 2, 13). Vincent was paid by commission and
served as a family counselor, a role comprised of two
functions. Id. at pp. 2-3 (Pg. ID 2-3). The first
function was serving as a primary contact for families
interested in burial services. Id. The second was a
“duty shift, ” and in this role he sat in a
reception center and answered telephone calls from
prospective clients. Id. at p. 3 (Pg. ID 3). Because
employees were paid on commission, this duty shift role
(which employees performed on several occasions a month)
offered a chance for immediate sales, and correspondingly,
more income. Id. The role was also an important
component of whether family counselors secured sales after
developing initial contacts with clients. Id.
contends that when he was first hired in October 2014, he
told the Defendant that he was hearing impaired. Id.
at pp. 3-4 (Pg. ID 3-4). He claims that Tim Burrows, then the
director of sales and the training instructor, ignored two
informal requests by Vincent for accommodation in December
2014. Id. at p. 4 (Pg. ID 4). Vincent also alleges
that co-workers, including Burrows, taunted him because of
his impairment and that he was unfairly punished for, among
other things, utilizing accommodations available to all of
Defendant's employees. Id. at pp. 7-8, 11 (Pg.
ID 7-8, 11).
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Charges
filed his first complaint with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) on October 23,
2015 (“Charge 1”), and this complaint alleged
discrimination by the Defendant related to Plaintiff's
hearing impairment. Id. at p. 11 (Pg. ID 11).
Plaintiff claims that five days after this initial complaint,
he was wrongfully disciplined twice within two hours.
Id. The Defendant then terminated Plaintiff's
employment on November 23, 2015. Id. at p. 13 (Pg.
December 15, 2015, Vincent completed and signed an EEOC
intake questionnaire representing a desire to file a charge
with the EEOC against the Defendant for two reasons: (1)
retaliation based on his first complaint to the EEOC; and (2)
again because of discrimination regarding disability
(“Charge 2”). See Dkt. No. 16-3.
February 2, 2016, the EEOC issued a right to sue letter on
this second complaint, as Vincent failed to return an
executed notice of charges. See Dkt. No. 20-4. At
the time the EEOC issued this right to sue letter, the first
complaint filed with the EEOC had not been resolved. On
February 10, 2016, Vincent filed a third complaint with the
EEOC, alleging only that the Defendant had retaliated against
him because of his complaints to the EEOC (“Charge
3”). See Dkt. No. 20-7.
EEOC issued a right to sue letters on Vincent's first and
third charges on December 13, 2016 and ...