MIEDEMA v. FACILITY CONCESSION SERVICES, INCORPORATED
United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.
Filed: September 6, 2012.
Miedema sued Spectrum alleging employer negligence, violations of the FMLA's substantive and retaliation provisions, and violations of Title VII's substantive and retaliation provisions. Spectrum filed a motion for summary judgment on all claims, which the district court granted on April 11, 2011. Miedema now appeals the district court's denial of her substantive FMLA claim and her FMLA and Title VII retaliation claims. Because she has not challenged the district court's denial of her Title VII hostile work environment and negligence claims, we need not address them.II.
We review an order granting a motion for summary judgment under a de novo standard. Storebrand Ins. Co. U.K., Ltd. v. Employers Ins. of Wausau, 139 F.3d 1052, 1055 (5th Cir. 1998); BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc. v. Johnson Bros. Group, 106 F.3d 119, 122 (5th Cir.1997). Summary judgment is warranted when the pleadings, depositions, interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56; Celotex v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).III.A.
In this appeal, Miedema first argues that her termination violates the provisions of the FMLA. The FMLA guarantees to eligible employees twelve workweeks of leave during any twelve-month period in certain enumerated circumstances. 29 U.S.C. § 2612(a) (2006). One such circumstance is "a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of [her] position." Id. In the instant case, it is not disputed that Miedema's post-traumatic stress disorder is a covered "serious health condition." However, what is disputed is whether Miedema's notice to Spectrum complied with the FMLA's certification requirements.
Under the FMLA, an employer may request both an initial certification and later, a recertification. See 29 C.F.R. §§ 825.306, 825.308 (2011). As the district court noted, "It is not clear whether Spectrum considered its second request for a medical certification to be another attempt to obtain an initial medical certification or a request for recertification." Memorandum and Order Granting Summary Judgment (S.D. Tex. Apr. 11, 2011). The distinction is important because the two request procedures are subject to two different sets of requirements. Compare 29 C.F.R. § 825.306, with 29 C.F.R. § 825.308. The district court concluded that it need not determine which type of certification Spectrum requested, because Spectrum's request complied with the requirements for both. Because we find Spectrum's request to be one for a certification, an analysis of the recertification issue is unnecessary.