E.E.O.C. v. United Airlines, Inc.

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Americans with Disabilities Act
Case Number: 
No. 11-1774
Decision Date: 
September 7, 2012
Federal District: 
N.D. Ill., E. Div.
Reversed and remanded
Ct. of Appeals found that defendant-employer’s accommodation policy violated ADA where defendant gave preferential treatment to individuals who, because of their disability, could no longer do essential functions of their current job, even with reasonable accommodation, by assigning said individuals to vacant positions for which they qualified, but only if no more-qualified candidate existed. Ct., in overruling Humiston-Keeling, 227 F.3d 1024, found that ADA requires automatic placement of disabled employees into vacant positions as long as they are qualified for said positions, and as long as said placement would not present undue hardship to employer. Ct. further observed that under Barnett, 535 US 391, accommodation requests that would violate seniority systems would ordinarily be unreasonable, but disabled employees would still be free to present evidence on case-by-case basis to show that placement in spite of seniority would be reasonable.