NU Online News Service, Jan. 8, 6:52 p.m. — Washington
The U.S. Supreme Court today issued a unanimous ruling that sets a high threshold for a sick or injured employee trying to prove the existence of a “disability” under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
ADA requires that, to be treated as a disability, a condition must substantially limit the performance of major life activities.
To meet the ADA standard, employees must demonstrate that they have impairments that prevent or severely restrict them from performing activities that are of central importance to the daily lives of most people, the Supreme Court said today in the decision.
In addition, the effects of the impairment must be permanent or long-term, the court said.
“It is insufficient for individuals attempting to prove disability status under this test to merely submit evidence of a medical diagnosis of an impairment,” the court said. “Instead, the ADA requires them to offer evidence that the extent of the limitation caused by their impairment in terms of their own experience is substantial.”
Patrick Clearly, senior vice president with the National Association of Manufacturers, Washington, praised the ruling.
“Today’s Supreme Court ruling makes it clear that the ADA is still the Americans with Disabilities Act, not the Americans with Injuries Act,” he said.
The decision?in the case of Toyota Motor v. Williams?involves a Toyota factory worker named Ella Williams, who claimed she had several impairments that substantially limited her ability to perform certain manual tasks on an assembly line.
Williams asked Toyota to accommodate her medical condition by allowing her to perform only certain tasks on the assembly line.