On March 24, the EEOC issued its Final Regulations ("Regulations") implementing Congress's Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 ("ADAAA").
In Whitfield v State of Tennessee, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (Cincinnati) upheld judgment for an employer who had presented "overwhelming evidence" that performance problems, as opposed to her status as a disabled person, caused her termination.
In one of the first reported cases applying the ADA Amendments Act, which took effect on Jan. 1, 2009, a district court in Northern Illinois held in Horgan v. Simmons that an employee who was fired a day after disclosing his HIV-positive status to the president of his company could pursue a claim for discrimination and impermissible medical inquiry claims under the amended Americans with Disabilities Act.
In Fleming v. Yuma Regional Medical Center, the Ninth Circuit (San Francisco) ruled that independent contractors, in addition to “employees,” may bring discrimination claims under the Rehabilitation Act.
In a recent decision, the California Supreme Court reinstated a jury verdict of disability harassment but recognized important constitutional limits on the accompanying punitive damages award.
In McDonald v. Department of Envtl. Quality, the Montana Supreme Court reversed a trial court’s ruling that an employer has no duty to provide accommodations regarding service animals, reasoning that “if a disabled employee’s assistive device is not usable in the workplace, then allowing her to bring the assistive device to work is pointless.”