Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Anderson on Causation and Reasonable Accommodation

New on Westlaw: Cheryl L. Anderson, What is "Because of the Disability" Under the Americans with Disabilities Act? Reasonable Accommodation, Causation, and the Windfall Doctrine, 27 Berkeley J. Emp. & Lab. L. 323 (2006). The abstract:

Professor Anderson examines the Americans with Disabilities Act's requirement that discrimination be "because of the disability" of the individual seeking its protection. She focuses on how some courts use this language to impose unwarranted causation standards on reasonable accommodation claims. Title I of the ADA requires employers to accommodate the "known physical or mental limitations" of employees with disabilities; however, a number of courts require the accommodation be linked to narrowly identified aspects of that disability, or in the case of employees only regarded as having a disability, deny accommodations altogether as not necessary "because of the disability." Professor Anderson concludes that courts use causation requirements to avoid evaluations on the merits of accommodations claims. She argues that courts should review such claims based on whether they are reasonable and not on whether they amount to undeserved windfalls.

This piece addresses incredibly important issues in disability discrimination law. I touched on some of them in Part II.B and C of this piece, as well as in a forthcoming piece on US Airways v. Barnett, but Anderson gives what I think is the first systematic treatment of them.


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