An Illinois hairdresser who worked at a nursing home has raised a triable question for a jury as to whether her ability to wheel nonambulatory residents to the salon was an essential function of her job as a hairdresser. The case was on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, after the District Court granted summary judgment in favor of the employer (Petersen Health Care VII, LLC) finding that pushing the wheelchair was, in fact, an essential function of the position. The Seventh Circuit, however, disagreed reversing and remanding the case for trial. The Court noted that wheeling a patient from his or her room to the salon may not have been an essential function “if it was so small a part that it could be reassigned to other employees at a negligible cost to the employer.” Further, the Court noted that even if the employee, Debra Kauffman, was permanently restricted from wheeling patients, this fact does not “automatically” excuse the employer from “making any attempt to accommodate” her. You can read the whole opinion here.