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Supreme Court tackles ADA case clarifying 15-employee definition

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Companies that have 15 or more employees are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). But do the company partners or shareholders count toward that total? The Supreme Court has agreed to decide this question early next year.

The case: A medical clinic had just more than 15 workers, but only if its four doctor-shareholders were counted as employees. The clinic was sued by an employee under the ADA but is fighting to have the case tossed out. Reason: The clinic claims that its doctor-shareholders don't count as employees and, therefore, the company doesn't reach the 15-employee threshold. The lower court ruled that the doctor-owners were, in fact, employees. (Clackamas Gastroenterology Associates P.C. v. Wells, No. 01-1435)

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