Just as the dysfunction that has plagued the Dolphins franchise in recent months dissipated, controversy has returned.
According to Alex Marvez of FOXSport.com, the Dolphins face a lawsuit from Nate Sullivan, a scout who contends he was fired in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. His lawyer has sent a letter informing the team that Sullivan intends to initiate litigation.
Sullivan had been permitted to work from home since 2004 due to the treatment required by his wife, JoAnne, who suffers from cystic fibrosis and a blood vessel ailment known as polyarteritis nodosa.
Sullivan had been allowed to work at home under three prior Dolphins General Managers. Perhaps more importantly, the arrangement was allowed to continue by no-nonsense personalities like former V.P. of football operations Bill Parcells and coach Nick Saban. If Sullivan could perform the duties of the job in satisfactory fashion while working from home with men like Parcells and Saban running the show, chances are Sullivan could have continued to thrive in his position.
Sullivan claims that new G.M. Dennis Hickey said that the arrangement “just did not work for him.” The Dolphins likely will contend that the decision had nothing to do with Sullivan’s working arrangement, but instead arose from his job performance. It’s also possible that the Dolphins will argue that allowing Sullivan to continue working from home does not constitute the kind of accommodation the ADA requires.
Legal or not, the Dolphins presumably dotted their i’s and crossed their t’s regarding the decision to move on from Sullivan, with sound legal advice obtained and appropriate documentation generated. If they didn’t, then they learned nothing from the Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito debacle.