Monday, October 4, 2010

Court interprets ADAAA to permit disability discrimination claim based on cancer in remission
Bond Schoeneck & King
Margo G. Ferrandino
September 28 2010

In one of the first cases of its kind to make it to the summary judgment phase,” a federal district court in Indiana found last month that under the recent amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADAAA”), cancer even while in remission is a disability, Hoffman v. Carefirst of Fort Wayne Inc. The case is significant because it is one of the first cases to interpret broadly the ADAAA’s expanded definition of disability and to rely on Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) guidance in doing so. It is also significant because it imposes a reasonable accommodation obligation for an impairment that did not substantially limit a major life activity at the time the accommodation was requested.
According to the Court’s opinion, the plaintiff, Stephen Hoffman was employed as a mobile service technician. In November 2007, Hoffman was diagnosed with stage III renal cancer. In January 2008, two months after undergoing surgery to remove a kidney, Hoffman returned to work. Although Hoffman sometimes suffered from fatigue, pain, and discomfort, particularly when sitting or driving, Hoffman continued working his routine schedule without any medical restrictions.

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