Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Americans with Disabilities Act

Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Americans with Disabilities Act

Article excerpt

Does the inability to perform repetitive factory work meet the criteria for impairment under the Americans with Disabilities Act?(1) Not necessarily, according to a recent decision by a Federal district court judge in dismissing an automobile worker's complaint against Toyota (McKay v. Toyota Motor Manufacturing, U.S.A., Inc.).(2)

Within a few weeks of beginning work with Toyota in a body weld division, Pamela McKay was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome caused by her work. McKay continued working for the auto manufacturer for more than a year, and her employer granted several accommodations to her special needs, including giving her an extended medical leave of absence, modifying her job, and approving her transfer to a job of her choice. In the end, though, the company fired her because of excessive absenteeism. McKay filed a complaint in Federal court alleging that her firing violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Federal District Court Judge Karl S. Forester dismissed McKay's claim, saying that she did not qualify as a disabled individual within the meaning of that term under the Act. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the definition of disability is "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities [which] include caring for oneself. …

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