Here’s a novel legal theory of disability law that may spell trouble for some employers: Criticizing and punishing a worker whose partner is experiencing a complicated, disabling pregnancy may be association discrimination under the ADA.
Recent case: Anthony Marchioli was newly hired by Garland Co. as a sales representative in July 2009. Early on, he received excellent reviews. Then in early October, Marchioli told his supervisor that his girlfriend was pregnant and asked for permission to take a Friday afternoon off to help her choose a doctor.
Marchioli claimed that immediately after the announcement, his boss began criticizing his work and suggested that he should quit. The supervisor even put his thoughts in writing and gave them to Marchioli as part of a negative interim review.
The appraisal ended with, “I’m not here to tell you how to live your life but the situation with your girlfriend spells big trouble to me. Th...(register to read more)