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September 13, 2012

Not providing an employee claiming a disability an accommodation that would obviate performing an essential job requirement did not violate the ADA


Not providing an employee claiming a disability an accommodation that would obviate performing an essential job requirement did not violate the ADA
NYC Fire Department v A.G., OATH Index No. 771/12

The New York City Fire Department sought the termination of an employee, A.G., alleging the individual “had been excessively late or absent from work” in that A.G. had been tardy, or absent from work for more than 700 hours in 2010 and in excess of 700 hours in 2011.

The employee’s defense: The Department was in violation of the Americans with Disability Act because it had not provided her with a reasonable accommodation -- a three-hour flex-time schedule -- of  the various disabling medical conditions she claimed were the cause of her poor attendance record.

Although A.G. contended that she could not be disciplined for her attendance problems, OATH Administrative Law Judge Kara J. Miller held that A.G. failed to prove that her alleged medical conditions caused her attendance problems.

Judge Miller, finding that timely attendance was an essential function of A.G.’s job, ruled that the Department was not required to provide an accommodation that would eliminate its attendance requirements as “a reasonable accommodation can never involve the elimination of an essential function of a job,” citing Shannon v. NYC Transit Authority., 332 F.3d 95.

Sustaining the charges, the ALJ recommended that A.G. be terminated from her position.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

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