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ADA ruling: Coming to work is an essential job function

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

A federal trial court has concluded that coming to work is an essential function of one’s job. Therefore, the ADA doesn’t cover disabled employees who can’t meet that basic requirement.

Recent case: Doudou Janneh worked part time for a movie theater chain until he became ill. Janneh claimed he was disabled. Because he had not worked enough hours to be eligible for FMLA leave and because he had no other leave available, he was terminated.

He sued, alleging disability bias.

The court tossed out his case, reasoning that Janneh had not been capable of returning to work since the day he was discharged and his deposition three years later. Under those circumstances he was not a qualified disabled employee because he was incapable of coming to work at all. (Janneh v. Regal Entertainment Group, No. 3:07-CV-79, ND NY, 2009)

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