ADA Lawsuit: Court backs up firm that demanded high performance

by on January 7, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Poor Performance is not an ADA disability

Your company may be facing increasing pressure to allow employees to telecommute.

When workers at home remain productive and connected with the office, this policy makes sense, financially and as an ADA compliance solution, in some cases.

But if things don’t work out, courts will back up terminations for nonperformance, even in cases where the telecommuting arrangement was intended for ADA compliance.

Too dizzy to drive to work
A female employee at Commerce Clearing House, Inc. was allowed to work from home when mysterious bouts of vertigo made it dangerous for her to drive to work.

Over time her performance suffered, including repeated missed deadlines and important staff meetings. Eventually the company terminated her for failure to complete a performance improvement plan.

The worker filed an lawsuit under the Americans With Disabilities Act, claiming the performance issue was a pretext, and that the company just wanted her out.

But the court backed the employer. The company presented compelling evidence that it had followed its progressive discipline policy carefully, and treated the woman the same as on-site employees.

In addition, inability to drive is not considered a “major life activity” under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Cite: Yindee v. Commerce Clearing House, Inc., No. 04-C-0730, N.D. Ill.

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