Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Lessons Learned from Two Recent Seventh Circuit ADA Cases


Last month, the Seventh Circuit (which has jurisdiction over appeals from federal district courts in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin) decided two cases with claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In one case, the Seventh Circuit joined multiple other circuits in holding that obesity, on its own, is not a protected disability under the ADA. In the other, however, the Seventh Circuit revived claims of an employee who alleges he was discriminated against due to his alcoholism.

Richardson v. Chicago Transit Authority

During an examination of his fitness to return to work, a driver for the CTA was found to be over the seat manufacturer’s maximum weight of 400 pounds. The CTA put the driver on temporary medical disability and he remained on inactive status for two years. When he did not submit the medical documentation required to extend his status for another year, the CTA terminated his employment.