The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that
a part-time bank teller raised triable issues of
disparate treatment and failure to accommodate under the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The ADA prohibits discrimination against “qualified individuals with
a disability” in the terms and conditions of employment. A qualified
disability is any medical, physiological, or psychiatric condition that
substantially limits a major life activity. The ADA provides that where
a person is a “qualified individual with a disability,” his
or her employer must make an effort to reasonably accommodate the disability.
Here, the court determined that the woman’s epilepsy constituted
a disability covered by the ADA. Although her medication controlled the
amount of seizures she had, they were not eliminated. However, despite
her requests for a later start time to allow for more sleep and reduce
the frequency of her seizures, the bank refused to allow these changes.
As a result, the court determined that a her claims under the ADA were
sufficient to withstand summary judgment, reasoning that a reasonable
jury could find that the woman was disabled and that the bank failed to
provide the reasonable accommodations.
The court also found that the woman provided evidence that the bank’s
alleged reason for firing her – excessive absenteeism – was
a pretext for bias. As such, she was allowed to proceed with her claims.
If you believe you or a loved one has been a discriminated against based
on a disability,
contact the Georgia law firm of
The Buckley Law Firm, LLC. Dedicated to protecting worker’s rights, we can answer your questions
and fight against disability discrimination in the workplace.