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What can go wrong? ADA decision shows importance of interactive process


SKU: ELBma151. Category: .


Abstract: A hairdresser at a nursing home sometimes had to push residents in wheelchairs from their rooms to the beauty parlor. After she had a surgical procedure, her ability to do this was limited. But the facility’s administrator told her that they didn’t allow employees to work under restrictions, and denied her request for an accommodation of having other employees push the wheelchairs. As this article discusses, the district court sided with the nursing home, but the appeals court reversed, finding that the record on whether pushing the residents was an “essential function” of being a hairdresser was unresolved — and that the administrator’s comments could be found to be evidence of disability-based discrimination. A sidebar discusses an earlier case that went the other way. Kauffman v. Petersen Health Care VII, LLC, No. 13-3661, Oct. 16, 2014 (7th Cir.) Basith v. Cook County, No. 00-1656, March 6, 2001 (7th Cir.)

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