NT Lakis has filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in a case of significant legal and practical importance arising under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  

The issue in Harris v. Union Pacific is whether a federal trial court properly certified a class of more than 7,000 current and former employees asserting workplace discrimination based on the company’s application of a fitness-for-duty program. Despite the fact that ADA coverage and liability determinations are highly individualized, the trial court somehow concluded that the plaintiffs satisfied their high burden under federal procedural rules of showing that all of the class members’ claims were sufficiently alike. 

In urging the Eighth Circuit to reverse the trial court, our brief contends that because the ADA by design requires an individualized inquiry not only as to who is “qualified” and thus entitled to the Act’s protections, but also regarding whether and how each individual was harmed by the employer’s actions, disability discrimination claims will almost always be unsuitable for class treatment.

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