Due to changes resulting from enactment of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, there has been renewed attention on employers’ obligations to disabled employees under the ADA.
Back in 2000, the 7th Circuit held that employers are not required to reassign disabled employees to a vacant position for which they are qualified. Although the EEOC recently challenged this position in EEOC v. United Airlines, Inc. (No. 11-1774, 7th Cir., 2012), the 7th Circuit held its ground, reaffirming its previous decision.
United Airlines has a “Reasonable Accommodation Guidelines” policy that addresses accommodating employees who, because of a disability, can no longer perform the essential functions of their current jobs. The policy states that transfer to an equivalent or lower-level vacant position may be a reasonable accommodation, but cautions that the transfer process is competitive.
As a result, United will not autom...(register to read more)