In Weaving v. City of Hillsboro, the Ninth Circuit recently found that an individual with ADHD was not disabled within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Weaving’s employment as a police officer was terminated due to the personality conflicts he had with his subordinates. Weaving then brought suit against the police department claiming that his ADHD substantially limited his ability to get along with those coworkers. Shockingly, the jury agreed with him and found in his favor to the tune of $770,000!
On appeal, the Ninth Circuit found that his ADHD did not substantially limit a major life activity, and thus he was not entitled to ADA protections. Weaving continually was found to be competent at his job and his interpersonal problems only extended to subordinates, not superiors.
This decision highlights how difficult it can be to draw the line between when to discipline or discharge an unruly employee or when to accommodate that employee pursuant to a disability. Contact legal counsel if you have one of these close calls.