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Workers don’t get two chances to prove they’re disabled

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

A federal judge has ruled that an em­­ployee who lost one ADA discrimination case because the court found she wasn’t disabled can’t sue again, claiming that she is disabled.

Recent case: Julie Delgado-O’Neil sued the city of Minneapolis, where she works in the City Attorney’s Office. Years earlier, she had alleged that the city had refused to accommodate her hearing impairment, which she said was a disability. Then she sued again, alleging she was disabled.

The judge said she could not re-­litigate her disability status because the previous court had already ruled that she wasn’t disabled. (Delgado-O’Neil v. City of Minneapolis, No. 10-4021, DC MN, 2011)

Final note: When settling a lawsuit, be sure to discuss whether to retain the employee or offer additional compensation for her to leave and promise never to return.

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