Employees may be disabled under the ADA if surgery or another medical condition forces them to use the bathroom frequently. The condition affects a major life activity—elimination of wastes.
Recent case: Robert Garvin’s gall bladder was removed and he claimed that ever since the surgery, he has had near constant diarrhea. He alleged that his condition requires him to change his clothes several times a day.
When he was fired for allegedly falsifying expense reports, he sued, alleging that the real reason was disability discrimination. His former employer argued he wasn’t disabled.
The court said his condition, if proven, would have been a covered disability.
The court threw out Garvin’s case anyway. It said the employer had a legitimate, completely unrelated reason for firing Garvin: falsifying expense reports. (Garvin v. Progressive Casualty Insurance, No. 5:08-CV-3758, ED PA, 2010)
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- Accommodate disabled workers, but don't accept mediocre job performance
- Beware boss who undermines anti-harassment rules
- Parent may take FMLA leave to care for grown children
- Call lawyer ASAP if your last-chance agreements require employees to give up Title VII rights