Rejecting an attempt by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to extend the scope of who is a protected individual with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the ADA’s regarded-as prong requires that the employer perceive the individual with having an existing impairment, and not some future impairment as argued by the agency.

The appeals court also rejected an accompanying claim by the agency that the employer violated the ADA’s association discrimination provision, concluding that the EEOC failed to show that the employer knew that the plaintiff had a relationship with a particular individual with a disability.

The Eleventh Circuit’s ruling in EEOC v. STME, LLC d/b/a Massage Envy, No. 18-11121 (11th Cir. September 12, 2019), affirms a federal trial court ruling that we previously summarized in our recent three-part memo series commemorating the 10-year anniversary of the ADA Amendments Act.

A copy of the 11th Circuit’s decision is available here.

Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.