Monday, May 21, 2012

D. Or. Holds That Olmstead Applies to Integrated-Employment Claims

On Thursday, United States Magistrate Judge Janice M. Stewart of the United States District Court for the District of Oregon issued an opinion addressing the state's motion to dismiss in Lane v. Kitzhaber, a case about which I've blogged before.  Lane challenges the state's provision of employment services to people with disabilities in segregated sheltered workshops as a violation of the ADA's integration mandate.  Magistrate Judge Stewart rejected the state's arguments that the Olmstead integration mandate does not apply to employment services and held that the case could proceed.  She interpreted certain allegations in the plaintiffs' complaint as seeking impermissibly to impose a standard of care, which Olmstead held was not required by the ADA, so she ordered the plaintiffs to submit a new complaint omitting those allegations.

All told, this is a very significant decision.  It's the first case to hold that individuals with disabilities can bring an Olmstead claim to challenge their unnecessary placement in segregated employment programs, though I'm sure it won't be the last.



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