ADA - Still Must Be Able to Perform Job

Employee, a physician, sued his former employer under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) after it fired him because its evaluator opined that his short-term memory issues made him unfit for duty.Stern v. St. Anthony's Health Center, No. 14-2400 (June 4, 2015).The District Court granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment and the Seventh Circuit affirmed.

The Seventh Circuit agreed with the plaintiff that employer had never engaged in the required interactive process to determine whether there were any appropriate accommodations for the plaintiff, even though the defendant's staff talked amongst themselves about potential accommodations. Despite that, the plaintiff could not prevail on his ADA claim because he failed to show that he could have performed his job with or without accommodations.

The Seventh Circuit noted that the defendant's duty to accommodate did not require it to remove of any of his essential job duties. Furthermore, the plaintiff's physician only stated that it was "possible" that plaintiff could perform his job under certain proposed accommodations, which was insufficient evidence that the plaintiff could actually perform his job, as the physician's suggested accommodations were untested.