Reversing earlier case law, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals established a new standard for disability cases requiring the employee to prove that s/he is qualified to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. Further, the employer may establish business necessity for its refusal to hire based upon the employee's inability to safely perform the job. In Bates v. United Parcel Service Inc., the trial court held that UPS violated the ADA by refusing to hire deaf applicants for driver positions. Remanding the case for further consideration under the new standard, a full panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled that plaintiff must prove that he is qualified to safely drive the UPS package-delivery vehicle, and that UPS may be allowed to put forth evidence to justify its safety standard as a business necessity.
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