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Employment — disability discrimination — reasonable accommodation — retaliation

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

Civil

Employment — disability discrimination — reasonable accommodation — retaliation

Where an employee had a permanent 20-pound lifting restriction, proposing that another employee lift heavy objects for her is not a reasonable accommodation required under the ADA.

“Ms. Majors frames her argument as a failure to accommodate claim, alleging that GE failed to provide her a reasonable accommodation. She argues that GE had the burden to prove that her proposed accommodation of another employee’s doing the heavy lifting would be an undue hardship on the business. This argument ignores that this record won’t allow a finding that she is a qualified individual. An ADA plaintiff can establish discrimination by showing the employer failed to accommodate the employee, but she first must establish that she is a qualified individual with a disability. Hoffman v. Caterpillar, Inc., 256 F.3d 568, 572 (7th Cir. 2001). The defendant has the burden to prove that the accommodation would create an undue hardship on the business, but the plaintiff must first “show that the accommodation [she] seeks is reasonable on its face.” Oconomowoc Residential Programs, Inc. v. City of Milwaukee, 300 F.3d 775, 783 (7th Cir. 2002) (citing US Airways, Inc. v. Barnett, 535 U.S. 391, 401-02 (2002)). The accommodation Ms. Majors seeks—another person to perform an essential function of the job she wants—is, as a matter of law, not reasonable, so GE isn’t required to show the accommodation would create an undue hardship.”

Plaintiff’s retaliation and constructive discharge claims are similarly unavailing.

Affirmed.

12-2893 Majors v. General Electric Company

Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division, McKinney, J., Miller, J.


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