Fifth Circuit Rules for Employee in ADA Claim

09/29/2013 // Dallas, Texas, United States // Attorney Keith Clouse (Press Release) // Keith Clouse // (press release)

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled for an employee in a disability lawsuit. Feist v. Louisiana, No. 12-31065 (Sept. 16, 2013), available at http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/12/12-31065-CV0.wpd.pdf.

The plaintiff, a former assistant attorney general for the Louisiana Department of Justice, claimed that her employer discriminated against her in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to provide free on-site parking to accommodate her disability. The trial court granted summary judgment because the plaintiff failed to show that her request was reasonable since she did not demonstrate how the denial of free on-site parking limited her ability to perform the essential functions of her job.

The Court reversed. Under the ADA, reasonable accommodations are not restricted to modifications that enable performance of essential job functions. Thus, the trial court erred when it required a nexus between the requested accommodation and the essential functions of the plaintiff’s job. While the Court declined to opine as to whether the requested accommodation was reasonable, it noted that the requested accommodation would presumably have made the plaintiff’s workplace more accessible and usable.

To learn more about reasonable accommodations under the ADA, contact an employment lawyer in your area. This article is presented by the employment law attorneys at Clouse Dunn LLP. For inquiries, send an email to [email protected] or call (214) 239-2705.

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