Court: ADA class-actions generally won’t fly

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Because the ADA requires employees to show they are disabled based on individual restrictions, a class-action lawsuit against an employer isn’t appropriate in most cases.

Recent case: Patricia took a medical leave of absence from her job at Wendy’s. She was eventually able to return to work full time, but with medical restrictions. When the fast-food chain refused to let her return, she sued on behalf of herself and all other similarly situated employees.

The court rejected her bid for class certification. It said even if Wendy’s had a blanket policy of not reinstating employees with medical restrictions, a class action was in­­appropriate. The employees would individually have to prove an ADA disability, which would have meant a series of mini-trials within the larger trial. (Semenko v. Wendy’s, No. 2:12-CV-0836, WD PA, 2013)

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