disability prevented him from attending his job regularly. See generally Smith v. Lattimore Materials Co., 287 F. Supp. 2d 667, 672 (E.D. Tex.), aff’d, 77 F. App’x 729 (5th Cir. 2003) (“Reporting on time and regular attendance is an essential function of any job.”).
The district court disagreed with Southwest, finding that the evidence introduced at trial was sufficient to allow a reasonable jury to conclude that flight attendants’ schedules at Southwest were extremely flexible. Therefore, the district court reasoned that, while regular attendance might be a requirement of most jobs, it was not a requirement of Carmona’s position at Southwest.
We are sympathetic to the argument that Carmona was not qualified to be a flight attendant at Southwest because his disability prevented him from showing up for work on scheduled days. Although the evidence showed that Southwest’s flight attendants have nearly unlimited discretion in determining when and how often they want to work, it did not show that they may skip the days they have scheduled at will. The attendance policy itself was evidence that, once a flight attendant scheduled himself to work on a particular day, he had to go to work on that day or find a substitute.
Carmona introduced evidence that there were “reserve” flight attendants available at Southwest’s base stations, but the evidence also overwhelmingly indicated that these reserve flight attendants were emergency measures only. There were limited numbers of reserve flight attendants, they were only available at certain airports, known as “base cities,” and Southwest often ran out of them by noon. Therefore, while a regular attendance schedule was not an essential requirement of Carmona’s