Brief medical episode isn’t an ADA-covered disability — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Brief medical episode isn’t an ADA-covered disability

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

A brief, transient medical episode that quickly resolves, leaving a worker as well as before the incident, isn’t a disability and doesn’t mean the employee is covered by the ADA or its later amendments.

Recent case: Danny worked as a wind turbine technician. The job was dangerous and required him to work up to 300 feet off the ground and sometimes in extreme temperatures, especially in the summer. When he became dizzy, disorientated and developed blurry vision while working on a turbine, he went to the emergency room. Doctors diagnosed dehydration and possible heat stroke and released him a few hours later with directions to take three days off work.

Shortly after, he was fired for alleged safety violations. He sued, alleging disability discrimination. But the court said his dehydration episode wasn’t a disability. It was extremely brief and never recurred. (Willis v. Noble Environmental, ND TX)

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