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Posts tagged "Disabilities"

Mancini v. City of Providence, RI, No. 18-1011 (1st Cir. Nov. 21, 2018)

The First Circuit affirms that, in an ADA case, it is often not necessary to present expert medical testimony to prove a disability. Nevertheless, the panel affirms summary judgment on the ground that the plaintiff - a police sergeant with a knee injury - failed to prove that his impairment substantially limited him in the major life activities of standing, walking, and bending.

EEOC v. Dolgencorp, LLC, No. 17-6278 (6th Cir. Aug. 7, 2018)

The Sixth Circuit affirms a jury award in an ADA case of $27,565 in back pay and $250,000 in compensatory damages, awarded to a dollar-store clerk who was fired for grabbing orange juice from the store fridge twice during diabetic episodes. The panel notes, among other things, that the failure to provide a reasonable accommodation can itself be direct evidence of discrimination.

Faidley v. United Parcel Service of America, Inc., No. 16-1073 (8th Cir. May 11, 2018) (en banc); Snapp v. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co., No. 15-35410 (9th Cir. May 11, 2018)

ADA opinions released in the Eighth and Ninth Circuits today underscore that the burden of proof, ultimately, is always on the employee to show that the employer failed to provide a reasonable accommodation. These serve as a reminder to disabled employees and counsel that when seeking reassignment as an accommodation, it is vital to request the reassignment clearly and to set one's sights realistically.

Mosby-Meachem v. Memphis Light, Gas & Water Div., No. 17-5483 (6th Cir. Feb. 21, 2018)

The Sixth Circuit affirms a jury verdict for an in-house lawyer in Tennessee, including $92,000.00 in compensatory damages and $18,184.32 in backpay. The court holds that the jury could have found that the employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (and state law) duty to accommodate, by failing to allow a ten-week period of telecommuting during the lawyer's pregnancy bedrest.

Lewis v. City of Union City, Ga., No. 15-11362 (11th Cir. Dec. 15, 2017)

In the ceaseless struggle over what is meant by "similarly situated," an Eleventh Circuit splits over whether the plaintiff - a Black woman detective with a heart condition - presented enough evidence that two white male officers who failed a physical-fitness requirement were treated better. The case also considers, for an ADA claim, whether receiving a Taser shock or pepper spraying in training was an "essential function" of the job.

EEOC v. St. Joseph's Hospital, Inc., No. 15-14551 (11th Cir. Dec. 7, 2016)

Courts are split over whether, under the ADA, employers who are able to reassign incumbent employees to accommodate their disabilities must do so outside of a normal competitive, "best-qualified" application process. The Eleventh Circuit this week joined the fray, holding that employers do not need to abandon a so-called "best-qualified" policy for filling vacancies, even as a reasonable accommodation.

Lawler v. Peoria school District No. 150, No. 15-2976 (7th Cir. Sept. 16, 2016)

One way that employers go wrong under disability-discrimination laws is writing off an employee with diagnosed mental disabilities as simply a difficult personality or a poor "fit" for the job. Here, a special-education teacher with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) - who was denied a transfer to a less-stressful position and fired for supposedly creating "so much unnecessary drama" with co-workers - will have a trial, thanks to a recent Seventh Circuit decision.

Flynn v. Distinctive Home Care, Inc., No.15-50314 (5th Cir. Feb. 1, 2016)

Taking sides in a widening split in the circuits, the Fifth Circuit holds that an independent contractor - here, a pediatrician working on an United States Air Force base - can bring a claim for disability discrimination under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 against the clinic where she practiced.

Burton v. Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., No. 14-50944 (5th Cir. Aug. 10, 2015)

The Fifth Circuit becomes the latest circuit to grapple with the temporary (or joint) employer issue under the federal anti-discrimination laws. It concludes in this case that There was a genuine dispute of material fact about which entity (or both) employed the plaintiff for purposes of the ADA. The panel also holds that There was a genuine dispute about pretext, where the alleged grounds for termination - among There things, her using the Internet while at work - may not have been known to the decision maker at the time the plaintiff was fired.

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