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Court rejects bid for personal liability under ADA

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in Discrimination and Harassment,HR Management,Human Resources

Good news for those worried about being on the hook personally for ADA violations: A federal court considering a New York case has rejected an employee’s bid to hold supervisors personally liable for alleged disability discrimination.

Recent case: Joan Struchen worked for a hospital. She told HR she was disabled because she had been diagnosed with a behavioral disorder. HR told her she would be accommodated under the appropriate circumstances. Then Struchen got into an argument with a co-worker and was fired.

She sued everyone involved, including HR staff, alleging failure to accommodate her disability.

The court dismissed the individual charges, concluding that the ADA does not allow employees to hold other employees personally liable for failing to accommodate disabilities. (Struchen v. Olean General Hospital, No. 08-CV-824, WD NY, 2010)

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