United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Aberdeen Division
Sharion Aycock UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Head filed his Complaint  in this Court on May 9, 2016
alleging that his former employer, the City of Columbus,
Mississippi Light and Water Department wrongly fired him
because of his age and physical disability. Head seeks relief
under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C.
§ 621, et seq., and the Americans with
Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq.
Now before the Court is the Department's Motion for
Summary Judgment  on all claims. Head filed a Response
 and the Department filed a Reply  making this issue
ripe for review.
and Procedural Background
was involved in an automobile accident in 1992 while driving
a truck for his then employer, Hardin's Bakery. Because
of injuries sustained in the accident, Head had his right hip
replaced. Head was unable to continue in his job as a truck
driver because of his injury, so he sought re-education as a
draftsperson at East Mississippi Community College. During
his final semester, Head's instructor recommended him for
a mapping position at the Columbus Light and Water
Department. Superintendent C.F. Williams hired Head, while
still a student, for the mapping position in June of 1995.
Head's employment application from 1995 notes “a
physical defect which precludes him from performing certain
kinds of work.” Specifically, Head noted on his
application “hip replacement, no heavy lifting.”
primary job responsibility was to update and maintain the
Department's computerized master map of the electrical
system including lines, poles, and other devices. Head
received “staking sheets, ” mostly technical
drawings, from his supervisor Chief Engineer Rusty Jaudon
with changes. Head took the information from the staking
sheets and used it to update the master map. Head received
training on mapping, especially early on. Occasionally, Head
would go out into the field to collect GPS location data on
electrical poles or equipment for mapping purposes. The
Department also trained Head as a dispatcher.
Head and Jaudon shared an office space in the
Department's electrical warehouse for almost nineteen
years, Head had personal issues with Jaudon. Head thought
Jaudon had unrealistic expectations, that he treated everyone
at the Department unfairly, and was generally a poor manager.
In particular, Head complained about Jaudon's poor
personal hygiene and strong offensive body odor. It was no
secret that Head and Jaudon had a tense relationship.
to Superintendent Williams, Head was a generally a good
employee but over the years he started to lose focus. Jaudon
also tasked Head with some additional responsibilities over
the years. On at least one occasion, Jaudon sent Head out
with a crew to clear some trees after a storm, Head sometimes
covered the warehouse when the warehouse personnel were on
break, and Head often covered dispatch when the regular
dispatcher was out or at lunch. Head complained to Williams
that doing physical labor like dragging brush was painful and
difficult for him with his artificial hip.
was also tasked with managing the Department's security
light program. Customers that wanted to have an overhead
security light installed at their property would contact the
Department and Head would go out to meet the customer,
determine the best location for the security light, and get
the customer to sign a contract. Head did not like having
these additional tasks and responsibilities. In his opinion,
he was hired to do mapping and these other tasks were
distractions that took him away from his main responsibility.
2009, Head's job description was updated to the
Job Title: Engineering Assistant
Area: Electrical Division
Pay Grade: 5
Reports To: Chief Engineer
Job Summary: To assist in the performance of routine,
engineering duties in accordance with well established
procedures and to perform related field works as required.
1. Collect data and prepare documents as instructed.
2. Read maps and blueprints.
3. Prepare work orders.
4. Maintain computerized records.
5. Make simple measurements and recordings.
6. Maintain good public relations and work to enhance the
image of the CL&W.
7. Operate utility vehicle as assigned.
8. Use drafting and survey tools and equipment.
9. Operate various computer terminals.
10. Perform other duties as assigned by supervisor.
Educational Requirements: Minimum of high school diploma, GED
or equivalent. College level algebra and geometry desirable.
1. Must have and maintain a valid Mississippi Driver's
2. Must be able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide all
units of measure.
3. Should have basic working knowledge of electric utility
operations and practices.
4. Must have ability to read maps.
5. Must have ability to work with ...