10 page ADA and Racial Discrimination Summary

ADA & Racial Discrimination

Summary of Facts

Mr. Tommy the deputy sheriff sustained an injury in his left ankle while at work. It was diagnosed as ‘severe ligament strain’. The doctor gave the disability status to Deputy Sheriff Tommy and he was excused from work pending clinical investigation into the injury. Mr. Tommy submitted the medical documents to Lieutenant Dan. Lt. Dan however required that Tommy attend the mandatory training session. This is the primary level of dispute. Allegations were made by Lt. Dan that the Deputy Sheriff Tommy was personally seen by Dan, riding a motor cycle and climb stairs. This was denied by Tommy who countered that he did not ride motor cycles and that he moved with a support of a cane. Lt Dan took up this matter with the Sheriff who then crosschecked the condition of Tommy with the doctor.

The aim was to ascertain if Tommy could be given light duties. On obtaining the answer from the doctor that Tommy could be given light work, the Sheriff assigned him the task of attending phones in communications. The office of the Sheriff tried to communicate this order to Tommy. Tommy did not report to work. On account of this Tommy was suspended. He was further offered a disciplinary hearing or a way out with a resignation. On his refusal to comply a hearing was conducted and he was dismissed. An orthopedic surgeon to whom the doctor referred Tommy came to the conclusion that Tommy was in need of four weeks of physiotherapy. Tommy was released to work without restriction the very same day the termination came in effect. Tommy has filed complaints with the violation of Americans with disabilities act.

Issues Presented

The issues could be identified by comparing the events in the framework of the law, and also in the interpretation of the facts. The issues would therefore be:

Was there any violation of the ADA act with regard to the employment of Tommy at any stage and if so in what manner?

Does any fact that is presented show that there was discrimination at the workplace and was it related to the injury or any state of the complainant?

Does the facts of the case merit an award as claimed by the complainant?

Arguments Presented by Each Side

Tommy makes out a case that he was severely injured and therefore requires that he be treated to the benefits of the ADA laws and accordingly be accommodated in a suitable position until he was fit and normal to resume duty. He had also been advised rest and alternate duty by the doctor and it turned out by subsequent examination that he required physiotherapy and medication. By insisting that he was faking the injury as was alleged by Lt Dan and the subsequent events forced him to work at a station that required the use of his wrist. Therefore there was discrimination against him and his claim I swell founded on the merits of the provisions of title II of the act.

On the other hand the sheriff’s contention was that the duties assigned to Tommy were a result of general necessity and Tommy was accommodated in a work suited to the injury. The fact that Tommy was absent from the workplace and cut off all communications was the cause of the disciplinary proceedings that followed. It was based on misconduct and not on the injury. Though the office of the sheriff had complied with the act by providing Tommy with a suitable alternate employment Tommy has been irresponsible in not communicating with the office and not letting the authorities know of his whereabouts. The disciplinary proceedings are matters based on the conduct of Tommy and are not related to the injury. Therefore no violation of the act or its provision shaves occurred. Tommy did not report to work or publish his whereabouts. Tommy therefore was first suspended and given the opportunity of being heard. Having ignored all these advances, Tommy was necessarily in the wrong and hence the dismissal is warranted.

Applicable Law

The new The ADA Amendments Act is effective as of January 1, 2009. Therefore we could assume that Tommy comes under the old act of 1990. In that case the observation of the Supreme Court amended guidelines, as per Robert L. Dipboye, Adrienne Colella (2005) must take into consideration if the injury falls under the ‘disability as stated in the ADA. The job of the individual could be protected under the ADA only if the injury could bring the claimant under the “Individual with a disability.” In the case of Tommy it is similar to the carpel tunnel syndrome and only al little more badly. So the “Supreme Court ruling in Re: Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. v. Williams, 122 S. Ct. 681 (2002)” will be applicable for the injury argument from the state’s side. The facts of the case are that the company “Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc.” employed Ella Williams in the engine assembly line and in the course of her work had to use “pneumatic tools. Ms. Williams developed carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis “that caused pain in both of her hands, wrists, and arms.”

The personal physician had brought about ‘work restrictions’ which were of permanent nature and stated that she could not lift more than 20 pounds. Also those repetitive motions of her wrists or elbows were prohibited. Toyota employed her in other jobs that did not involve the problems. “Ms. Williams filed an ADA claim with the EEOC, alleging that Toyota had failed to provide her with a reasonable accommodation as required under the ADA.” While the lower courts agreed with the plaint, the U.S. Supreme Court set aside the claim based on the reasoning that, “household chores, bathing, and brushing one’s teeth are among the types of manual tasks of central importance to people’s daily lives, and should have been part of the assessment of whether [Ms. Williams] was substantially limited in performing manual tasks. Id. At 693. Because the Sixth Circuit had applied improper standards in evaluating Ms. Williams’ alleged disability, the Court reversed the lower court’s grant of summary judgment to her.” Thus whether the statement of Dan was true or not was immaterial. It could be proved that the job offered was within the scope of the acts directive in ‘Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Echazabal’.

The court held that the “ADA was trying to get at refusals to give an even break to classes of disabled people, while claiming to act for their own good in reliance on untested and pre-textual stereotypes.” Thus under the old law, the complainant has a weak case.


Therefore having a strong defense and that no part of any law either administrative or the ADA as it stands now has been violated there is no need for a negotiation or compromise. The courts are likely to set aside the claims. Secondly Tommy was terminated after due process of law and reinstating him to any post must follow the fair policy of selection again. Or Tommy must show valid reasons for being out of communication for so long. If the fault was owing to circumstances beyond his control and the fault could be condoned, a negotiation may be undertaken on humanitarian ground. But it is not necessary for the case at the moment.


The issues could be answered in the following manner. There is no violation of the ADA act with regard to the employment of Tommy at any stage, and as per the citations and the laws that prevail alternate options have been afforded. The case laws show that there was no exception that could be afforded to wrist injury. Instead of training assignment he was employed at the desk. The insinuation by Dan does not have any direct bearing on the issue because to become harassment Dan’s statement must have been acted upon and this was not the case. Alternate duty was assigned after medical opinion. The issue about discrimination at the workplace related to the injury or any state of the complainant could also be argued to be negative. The facts and law shows that there is no merit in Tommy’s claim and hence legal action by him will have no consequence.

2. Racial Discrimination

Summary of Facts

Deputy Smith is an African-American who was employed as Deputy Sheriff in Saint Leo Country. On March 17, 2006 circumstances led Smith to shoot at an unarmed citizen causing grievous hurt. It was discovered that Smith had vision impairment which perhaps caused him to misconstrue events as a threat to him. The Sheriff Jones put Smith on leave. As a routine psychology tests were conducted to test the fitness of Smith to continue as deputy Sheriff. The results showed that Smith was mentally fit. The Sheriff changed the work of Smith and made him do desk duty. In August the state attorney made it clear that Smith could not be prosecuted because of insufficiency of evidence. Sheriff Jones caused an internal investigation to b conducted.

The investigation found that Smith has not violated any law or policies of the department and further did not violate any rule regarding the use of fire arms. After all these findings disciplinary charges were made against Smith and were awarded with 30 days suspension. After a due process hearing the board which went into the issue concluded that Smith was at fault in the incident and created dangerous situations for himself the public and the victim. The 30 day suspension was upheld by the board. Against all these actions Smith went to Court alleging racial discrimination as the cause of withholding active duty from him.

Issues Presented

Prima facie on seeing the facts there are incidences that make us believe that there could have been racial discrimination. The primary fact was that Smith had vision impairment. If so, it was neither brought into consideration at any stag of the examination. However could this be a cause of assigning him desk duties? On the other hand the Attorney’s office and other authorities seem to have agreed that there was nothing culpable in the actions of Smith. Why was the departmental enquiry insisted upon and how did they arrive at a totally different conclusion? Was there discrimination? The facts of the case would under the circumstances show that there was a case for Smith.

Arguments Presented by each Side

Smith’s argument is that when the authorities except the board found him fit for active service he ought to have been allow on duty and his subsequent suspension and disciplinary enquiry is racial discrimination at the workplace. As in the issues raised, there seems to be some substance in the argument. However the question of his eye sight was not examined properly by either side. If he had very bad eyesight that could not be corrected with devices like glasses, will that pose further dangers to the public on account of his nervous actions? This could be asked as a counter question. Neither Smith nor the Sheriff seems to have card for the issue.

As far as the Sheriff is concerned, the question is to be seen from the point-of-view of the police work. When a policeman shoots an unarmed person, what measures are to be taken?

Applicable Law

As per the ADA, “the determination whether the petitioner’s impairment ‘substantially limits’ one or more major life activities is made with reference to the mitigating measures that he employs.” In this case the visual impairment also could be corrected and therefore is not a disability. Secondly the racial discrimination issue was considered in June 22, 2006. The Supreme Court considered the title “VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Co. vz. White” and affirmed that it forbids employment discrimination based on “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin,” and this case is a watermark in the racial discrimination issue.

The saving factor in this case is that as was stated in “Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc. (08-441) the plaintiff must provide direct evidence of discrimination in order to obtain a ‘mixed-motive instruction in a non-Title VII discrimination case.”

Thus it was held that the complainant must adduce evidence of the discrimination alleged and that the discrimination was motivated by a bias in sex race and so on. There is ample scope for Smith to argue his case and provide evidence. In the contrary the Sheriff will have to show that the same disciplinary actions were taken for other officers of different race from Smith in the same manner and that the Sheriff was following the natural legal process. As stated in the arguments above, prima facie there is scope for a suit to stand.

Was the prosecution and subsequent assignment to Smith based on his race? That can be inferred indirectly. It depends on the precedents that are available with regard to the use of firearms similar to the case of Smith and if the same procedures and same results followed. Only if such a routine has been established for all personnel could Smith’s case fall into the ‘administrative policy’. If this was without such precedents and if Smith was the first person to be placed into such circumstances then it appears that the evidence adduced as to his blamelessness in the affair was ignored deliberately. Being an African-American the presumption of discrimination in a hostile workplace cannot be ruled out.


It is therefore recommended that Smith be sent for examination of his eyes and in the event of their being ok for the work he be reinstated on active duty. The suspension appears to be an act done by way of singling out Smith and while the succession of events is sure proof for smith, the Sheriff will have to show that there was no racial bias in subjecting Smith to disciplinary proceedings and giving him desk job when he was found to be fit.


In Smith’s case all the evidence shows that the competent authorities found him innocent of the charges and a special board constituted after these findings are published indicates a vindictive attitude towards him. Though in reality this may not be the case it leads up to being circumstantial evidence which the onus will lie on the Sheriff to disprove, and be generally found to be a risky proposition. As it stands Smiths’s suspension and disciplinary enquiry is racial discrimination at the workplace. The arguments for this are simple and direct. The onus of establishing that there was no racial discrimination on the part of the office lies with the Sheriff. The facts alleged show that the disciplinary committee either did not take the evidence and findings of the Attorney’s office, the psychiatrists and other authorities and there is nothing to show or warrant the disciplinary proceedings if Smith was earlier absolved of the alleged violation. A person could not be put to double jeopardy. If the sheriff’s office cannot show a precedent where in a similar case involving other races such proceedings have been taken then there lays a case for Smith.


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Notice Concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act of 2008

On September 25, 2008, the President signed the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADA Amendments Act” or “Act”). The Act emphasizes that the definition of disability should be construed in favor of broad coverage of individuals to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of the ADA and generally shall not require extensive analysis.

The Act makes important changes to the definition of the term “disability” by rejecting the holdings in several Supreme Court decisions and portions of EEOC’s ADA regulations. The effect of these changes is to make it easier for an individual seeking protection under the ADA to establish that he or she has a disability within the meaning of the ADA.

The Act retains the ADA’s basic definition of “disability” as an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment. However, it changes the way that these statutory terms should be interpreted in several ways. Most significantly, the Act:

directs EEOC to revise that portion of its regulations defining the term “substantially limits”;

expands the definition of “major life activities” by including two non-exhaustive lists:

the first list includes many activities that the EEOC has recognized (e.g., walking) as well as activities that EEOC has not specifically recognized (e.g., reading, bending, and communicating);

the second list includes major bodily functions (e.g., “functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions”);

states that mitigating measures other than “ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses” shall not be considered in assessing whether an individual has a disability;

clarifies that an impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active;

changes the definition of “regarded as” so that it no longer requires a showing that the employer perceived the individual to be substantially limited in a major life activity, and instead says that an applicant or employee is “regarded as” disabled if he or she is subject to an action prohibited by the ADA (e.g., failure to hire or termination) based on an impairment that is not transitory and minor;

provides that individuals covered only under the “regarded as” prong are not entitled to reasonable accommodation.

EEOC will be evaluating the impact of these changes on its enforcement guidances and other publications addressing the ADA.

Effective Date:


Dipboye, Robert L; Colella, Adrienne. (2005) “Discrimination at Work: The Psychological and Organizational Bases” Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Mahwah, NJ.

N.A. (2006) “Burlington Northern and Santa Railway Co. v. White: Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit” Retrieved 26 March, 2009 at http://www.scribd.com/doc/1053019/U.S.-Supreme-Court-05259

N.A. (2009) “Chevron U.S.A. INC. v. Echazabal certiorari to the United States court of appeals for the ninth circuit No. 00-1406. Argued February 27, 2002 — Decided June 10, 2002” Retrieved 26 March, 2009 at http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=U.S.&navby=case&vol=000&invol=00-1406

N.A. (2009) “Murphy v. United Parcel Service, Inc. certiorari to the United States court of appeals for the tenth circuit No. 97-1992. Argued April 27, 1999 — Decided June 22, 1999” Retrieved 26 March, 2009 at http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=U.S.&vol=527&invol=516

N.A. (n. d.) “Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc. (08-441)” Retrieved 26 March, 2009 at http://www.lawmemo.com/supreme/case/Gross/

N.A. (n. d.) “Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. v. Williams certiorari to the United States court of appeals for the sixth circuit No. 00-1089. Argued November 7, 2001 — Decided January 8, 2002″)” Retrieved 26 March, 2009 at http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=U.S.&navby=case&vol=000&invol=00-1089

National Council on Disability. (2002) “Supreme Court Decisions Interpreting the Americans with Disabilities Act” Retrieved 26 March, 2009 at http://www.ncd.gov/newsroom/publications/2002/supremecourt_ada.htm#L

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2009) “Notice Concerning The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act of 2008” Retrieved 26 March, 2009 at http://www.eeoc.gov/ada/amendments_notice.html

Robert L. Dipboye; Adrienne Colella. (2005) “Discrimination at Work: The Psychological and Organizational Bases” Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Mahwah, NJ. p. 227.

National Council on Disability. (2002) “Supreme Court Decisions Interpreting the Americans with Disabilities Act” Retrieved 26 March, 2009 at http://www.ncd.gov/newsroom/publications/2002/supremecourt_ada.htm#L

National Council on Disability. (2002)

N.A. (2009) “Chevron U.S.A. INC. v. Echazabal certiorari to the United States court of appeals for the ninth circuit No. 00-1406. Argued February 27, 2002 — Decided June 10, 2002” Retrieved 26 March, 2009 at http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=U.S.&navby=case&vol=000&invol=00-1406

N.A. (2009) “Murphy v. United Parcel Service, Inc. certiorari to the United States court of appeals –” Retrieved 26 March, 2009 at http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=U.S.&vol=527&invol=516

N.A. (2006) “Burlington Northern and Santa Railway Co. v. White: Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit” Retrieved 26 March, 2009 at http://www.scribd.com/doc/1053019/U.S.-Supreme-Court-05259

N.A. (n. d.) “Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc. (08-441)” Retrieved 26 March, 2009 at http://www.lawmemo.com/supreme/case/Gross

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