7th Cir: Preferential Assignment Policy OK Under ADA

Does the Americans With Disabilities Act require an employer to reassign an employee who is need of an accommodation?

No, ruled the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit this week.  In this case, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed an ADA suit against United Airlines, challenging its guidelines placing an employee needing an accommodation in a competitive bidding process.

In this situation, United Airlines doesn’t automatically transfer the employee to a vacant position; rather, it gives the employee preference over similarly qualified applicants.

The Seventh Circuit said this is not an ADA violation, since the statute does not mandate reassignment of an employee who, because of a disability, cannot perform a job’s essential functions without an accommodation.

Here’s the full text of the ruling.

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