Monday, January 24, 2011

Salesperson's inability to fly to attend conference did not constitute a substantial work limitation under the ADA

Fenwick & West LLP
Sheeva J. Ghassemi-Vanni
January 7 2011

The First Circuit Court of Appeals (Boston) recently held in Faiola v. APCO Graphics, Inc. that a sales representative did not make "the required threshold showing of disability" under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") by informing her employer that she was not "up to" attending a conference in another state. During her employment, Faiola had been diagnosed with mild depression, but was never diagnosed with "classic depression" or any anxiety disorders. Following a decline in her performance, she was terminated. Immediately prior to her termination, Faiola informed her supervisor that she was "going through a personal crisis" and was not sure she would be "up to" attending the out-of-state conference since she was going through a "rough time." At no time did Faiola mention that flying to the conference would cause her undue stress.

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