ADA doesn’t guarantee right to pick a different supervisor

An employee may claim that the stress of having a difficult boss creates a mental disability such as major depression. She can ask for another supervisor as a reasonable accommodation—but employers don’t have to grant it. Courts don’t view such a move as a reasonable accommodation.

Recent case: Christine was the postmaster in Bovey. When she went on maternity leave, her supervisor, who managed 60 postmasters and 145 post offices, heard from her subordinates that Christine treated them poorly. Her supervisor temporarily moved Christine to another post office while he investigated.

Christine developed depression and anxiety. She asked for a new supervisor as a reasonable accommodation, but was turned down.

She sued, alleging failure to accommodate. The court dismissed the suit, explaining that a different supervisor is not a reasonable accommodation. (Huwe v. Brennan, DC MN, 2018)