Even if kidney stones were a disability under the ADA, an employer did not violate the ADA by not providing the plaintiff’s requested accommodations of “flexibility in her schedule” and a reduced work load for an indefinite period of time, according to a federal district court in Utah. Whitmeyer v. R & O Construction, Inc. (C.D. UT, October 23, 2013).
In finding these requests to be unreasonable, the court quoted the oft-cited axiom that “a regular and reliable level of attendance is a necessary element of most jobs.” Granting the plaintiff the requested schedule flexibility would not “guarantee” regular or reliable attendance, the court said.
The court dismissed the plaintiff’s request for a lighter workload with similar dispatch. This request was unreasonable because an employer need not remove essential functions of a position and the lighter work load “would shift her work onto other employees for an indefinite period of time.” We have posted previously about the importance of evaluating the impact of an employee’s requested accommodation on other employees.
As for whether having kidney stones is a disability, the court observed that one court has held that it was not while another held that having kidney stones met “the minimum threshold” necessary to survive motion to dismiss.