Federal court rejects ADA discrimination claim
December 19, 2006
The 9th Circuit Court in San Francisco has rejected a former Nevada state worker’s claim she was discriminated against in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Nancy Walsh sued saying her supervisors were aware she had been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder but made no effort to accommodate her needs. After an argument with her supervisor, she was issued a written reprimand for “refusal to comply with a reasonable and proper order or instruction from supervisor.”
Walsh eventually left the job and sued, saying Human Services officials had discriminated against her on the basis of her disability. The lawsuit sought monetary damages and an injunction forcing the state to adopt and enforce policies regarding discrimination based on disability.
The federal district court, however, granted the state’s motion for summary judgment ruling the state immune from ADA lawsuits and that individual employees can’t be held personally liable for ADA violations.
The appellate court agreed with that decision and added that there is no basis for providing injunctive relief in the case since Walsh’s suit failed to provide any facts regarding the department’s failure to adopt or enforce anti-discrimination policies and provided no evidence any discrimination she suffered was caused by failure to enforce a state policy.
The justices also noted Walsh failed to preserve the claim for injunctive relief because the issue was not presented to the district court.
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