What we do know is:
To establish that he was terminated by Sears because of his disability, Nigro submitted a declaration stating that on June 29, 2009, he had a phone conversation with Larry Foerster, General Manager of the Sears Carlsbad store at which Nigro worked, and Foerster told him that “[i]f you're going to stick with being sick, it's not helping your situation. It is what it is. You're not getting paid, and you're not going to be accommodated.” Nigro also testified in his deposition that Sears's District Facilities Manager Alan Kamisugu told him not to be concerned about his pay issue because Chris Adams, Sears's District General Manager, had indicated to Kamisugu that Nigro was “not going to be here anymore.” The district court disregarded the evidence proffered by Nigro, on the basis that “the source of this evidence is Nigro's own self-serving testimony.”
* * * *
Nigro's direct supervisor Jason Foss also testified that Chris Adams said to him—referring to Nigro—that “I'm done with that guy .”
We have previously acknowledged that declarations are often self-serving, and this is properly so because the party submitting it would use the declaration to support his or her position. S.E.C. v. Phan, 500 F.3d 895, 909 (9th Cir.2007) (holding that district court erred in disregarding declarations as “uncorroborated and self-serving”). The source of the evidence may have some bearing on its credibility, and thus on the weight it may be given by a trier of fact. But that evidence is to a degree self-serving is not a basis for the district court to disregard the evidence at the summary judgment stage. See 10A Charles Alan Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice & Procedure § 2727 (3d ed. 2011) (“[F]acts asserted by the party opposing the [summary judgment] motion, if supported by affidavits or other evidentiary material, are regarded as true.”). Here, Nigro's declaration and deposition testimony, albeit uncorroborated and self-serving, were sufficient to establish a genuine dispute of material fact on Sears's discriminatory animus. We conclude that the district court erred in disregarding Nigro's testimony in granting Sears's motion for summary judgment.
We have previously held in several cases that it should not take much for plaintiff in a discrimination case to overcome a summary judgment motion. See, e.g., Diaz v. Eagle Produce Ltd. P'ship, 521 F.3d 1201, 1207 (9th Cir.2008); Davis v. Team Elec. Co., 520 F.3d 1080, 1089 (9th Cir.2008); Metoyer v. Chassman, 504 F.3d 919, 939 (9th Cir.2007); Dominguez–Curry v. Nevada Transp. Dep't, 424 F.3d 1027, 1042 (9th Cir.2005); Chuang v. Univ. of Cal. Davis, Bd. of Trustees, 225 F.3d 1115, 1124 (9th Cir.2000). “This is because the ultimate question is one that can only be resolved through a searching inquiry—one that is most appropriately conducted by a factfinder, upon a full record.” Id.
Here, Nigro presented several state law claims that deserved trial. It should not take a whole lot of evidence to establish a genuine issue of material fact in a disability discrimination case, at least where the fact issue on discrimination is genuine and the disability would not preclude gainful employment of a person working with accommodation. We acknowledge that this is not a wholly one-sided case on the side of Nigro, and Sears put forward substantial evidence showing that it had a non-discriminatory reason for terminating Nigro's employment, i.e., Sears's position that Nigro did not comply with Sears's attendance and leave policies resulting in job abandonment. It is possible that Sears will prevail at trial, but the statements attributed to Sears's supervisors by Nigro are, if not dispositive, sufficient to raise a genuine issue for the trier of fact. See Metoyer, 504 F.3d at 939 (holding that an employer's evidence of a non-discriminatory motive does not warrant entry of summary judgment when the employee also proffered evidence to the contrary).