U.S. Steel Corp. did not violate the ADA when the company terminated a senior technician due to a degenerative lower back condition, a federal district court judge ruled in a Pennsylvania case.
The employee attempted to return to her job following a two-year absence, but she no longer could perform the essential duties of her position, which required repetitive bending and stooping, and lifting up to 50 pounds. The company encouraged her to find another position that she could perform, but she sued.
The court said employees must be able to perform essential job functions—with or without accommodation—to claim under the ADA. The employee claimed she could have performed the job with reasonable accommodations, but she did not request them before being terminated.