Supreme Court Rejects Disabled Employee’s Bid to Revive His $2.6 Million ADA Jury Verdict: Why You Should Still Regularly Update Job Descriptions and Supporting Documents
January 3, 2018
Authored by: Michael Olsen
On October 16, 2017, the Supreme Court rejected an employee’s petition for review of a decision in Stevens v Rite Aid Corporation. Stevens sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) for alleged discriminatory discharge claiming trypanophobia or “fear of needles” as a disability. Rite Aid discharged Stevens, a pharmacist of 32 years (with Rite Aid and its predecessors), after he refused to comply with Rite Aid’s requirement that pharmacists administer immunization injections to its customers. The Second Circuit held that administering injections was an essential function of the pharmacist position at the time of his termination, and therefore, concluded that Stevens was not a “qualified individual” with a disability.
At trial, Rite Aid personnel testified that the company made a business decision to start requiring pharmacists to perform immunizations. While courts are required to consider a variety of factors under Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) regulations, many