1. To state a claim under the Americans with
Disabilities Act, a plaintiff must establish that he or she has a physical or mental
impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.
2. The ADA is particularly suited for bringing class action lawsuits
for discriminatory treatment.
3. As the governmental agency charged with implementing regulations
to implement the employment provisions of the ADA, the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commis-sions Interpretive Guidelines on the definition of disability are due
substantial deference from the courts.
4. Even though an individual may have a physical or mental impairment
that by itself is substantially limiting, it will not qualify as a disability
under the ADA if the individual has taken corrective measures that mitigate the effects of
the impairment such that it is not substantially limiting in a major life activity.
5. An individual who has taken corrective measures to enable him or
her to function in society still could state a claim under the ADA in appropriate
6. After the Sutton trilogy, it is clear that the act of working is
considered a major life activity.
7. A plaintiff attempting to state a claim under the ADA should not
rely on the general nature of his or her disability, but should offer specific evidence of
its limiting effects on him or her.
8. Congress made specific reference in the ADA to an estimated number
of Americans with disabilities, which contributed to the Supreme Courts conclusion
that individuals who have corrected their disabilities were not intended by Congress to be
included in the act.
9. Employers are free to prefer one physical characteristic over
another without running afoul of the ADA.
10. An employer who decides that a physical impairment makes an
applicant less desirable for a job than another by definition has violated the ADA.
11. If an employer concludes that an individuals impairment
precludes that individual from performing a job, the employee falls within the regarded
as having a disability provision of the act.
12. Evidence that the employer offered an employee other positions
within the company will help defeat a claim that the employer regarded that individual as
having a disability.
13. The courts decision in Murphy demonstrates that an
individual who takes corrective measures will not meet the definition of disability, even
if limitations persist despite the corrective measures.
14. When considering corrective measures that mitigate the effects of
an impairment, a court will look at the bodys own attempts (consciously or not) to
adjust to the impairment, as well as artificial aids, like medications and devices.
15. When an individual has established that he has an impairment that
requires him or her to engage in a major life activity in a significantly different manner
than an average person in the population, the individual comes within the definition of
disabled under the ADA.
16. A companys implementation of an across-the-board preclusion
from certain jobs because of an impairment necessarily will violate the ADA.
17. Employers may rely on government regulations establishing minimum
standards for health and safety as essential functions of the job.
18. The EEOC has no authority to carry out the provisions of the ADA.
19. If a waiver of government standards of safety in fact modifies
those standards to some degree, an employer would put itself at risk by relying on the
original standards and ignoring the waiver program.
20. The three cases decided by the Supreme Court in June 1999 provide
a complete and thorough examination of all issues that arise under the ADA.
This activity has been approved
for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California in the amount
of 1 hour.
The State Bar of California
certifies that this activity conforms to the standards for approved education activities
prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing minimum
continuing legal education.