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Reassignment and the ADA: No Certain Answers, For Certain

August 28, 2013
Source: Lexology

In EEOC v. United Airlines, 693 F.3d 760 (7th Cir. 2012), the Seventh Circuit held that when a disabled employee is unable to perform the essential function of a job with or without reasonable accommodation, the employer must reassign the employee to a vacant position for which he or she is qualified, even if there is a better candidate, absent undue hardship. The Court’s holding reversed the law of the Seventh Circuit and adopted the position asserted by the EEOC. The Supreme Court’s subsequent decision not to review the case essentially keeps an element of uncertainty regarding the meaning of “reassignment” as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA because other federal circuits have held that the ADA does not mandate reassignment under such circumstances.

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