Plaintiff was employed as a legal assistant for the OPDS and its predecessor agency, the Oregon Public ?Defender ?Office, ?from ?1999 ?until ?May 2003. She alleged that she was a disabled individual with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety ?disorder, ?depression? and? agoraphobia. She claimed that defendants, State of Oregon and two of her supervisors, failed to provide her with reasonable accommodation, terminated her because of an actual or perceived disability and terminated her in retaliation for asserting her federally protected rights to be free from discrimination on the basis of disability.? ?She alleged violations of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. ? 794, and the FMLA.
The district court granted defendants? motion for summary? judgment? on? Sharer?s? Section? 504 claim, concluding that she failed to meet her burden?? of?? establishing?? that?? OPDS?? was? ?a ?program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.?? ?The court also granted summary judgment ?on ?her ?FMLA ?claim.???? The ?Ninth Circuit affirmed.
Section 504 provides that ?[n]o otherwise qualified individual with a disability . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.? 29 U.S.C. ? 794(a) (emphasis added).? ?Whether a particular state entity is a program or activity receiving federal financial?? assistance?? within?? the? ?meaning?? of Section 504, though itself ?a question of federal law[,] . . . can be answered only after considering the? provisions? of? state? law? that? define? the agency?s character.??? After examining in detail the state constitutional and statutory scheme, the Court determined that OPDS is not a program or activity?? receiving?? federal? ?financial? ?assistance within the meaning of the Rehabilitation Act. Without discussion, the Court dismissed Plaintiff?s FMLA claim, describing it as ?without merit.??Sharer v. Oregon,— F.3d — (9th ?Cir.? ?Sep. 21, 2009) (Fisher, Goodwin, O?Scannlain).