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Court decisions show limits of ADA disability designation

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2019 | Workplace Disability Discrimination

When it comes to lawsuits related to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the concern among many employers in Florida has long been that any condition could become the basis of an ADA claim. However, two recent court decisions show that fear isn’t grounded in reality.

In Connelly v. WellStar Health System, Inc., a former employee sued for discrimination under the ADA. The lawsuit alleged that her employer failed to accommodate her and retaliated against her after she returned from FMLA leave.

According to the court decision, the employee was fired after reporting to work under the influence of drugs. She claimed that because her employer had let her go home and compose herself in similar situations in the past, the company failed to accommodate her in this instance. The court disagreed, ruling that the employee never sought accommodation and therefore it didn’t make any difference what the company had done in the past.

The second case, Fragada v. United Airlines, involved another drug test failure. The employee argued that his attention deficit disorder was the cause of the failed drug test, and his employer discriminated against his disability by not accommodating him. The court disagreed, holding the employer had a legitimate reason for the firing and that the employee failed to show his employer had discriminated against him.

These are only two recent cases, and the facts in each are unique. Workers that face discrimination may wish to seek Boca Raton workplace disability discrimination law firm help. An attorney may be able to help the worker obtain compensation under the law. This could be achieved through a lawsuit, a negotiated settlement, or an arbitration.