A plaintiff sued his employer for disability discrimination after he was terminated for alleged attendance problems. The jury found for the plaintiff, but the trial court vacated the verdict and granted judgment to the employer. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision in part. Carmona v. Southwest Airlines Co., No. 08-51175 (5th Cir. April 22, 2010), available at http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/08/08-51175-CV1.wpd.pdf.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the plaintiff had to show: he had a disability; he was otherwise qualified for the position; and he was discriminated against because of his disability. The Court first concluded that evidence supported a jury finding that the plaintiff had a disability because the evidence showed that the plaintiff had an impairment that substantially limited the major life activity of walking. Likewise, a reasonable jury could have concluded that the plaintiff was qualified for his job and that his poor attendance did not render him unqualified; although plaintiff’s attendance was inadequate under the employer’s written policy, the jury could have found it was adequate under unwritten understandings. Finally, sufficient evidence supported the jury’s finding that the employer’s cited reason for termination (poor attendance) was false and that the real reason was the plaintiff’s disability. The Court remanded the case with instructions that judgment be entered for the plaintiff according to the jury verdict.
To speak to a Dallas discrimination attorney, please contact the employment law lawyers at Clouse Dunn Khoshbin LLP at [email protected].
Press Release Contact Information:
KEITH A. CLOUSE
214.220.3833 ( fax)