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Court Places Accommodation Responsibility on Employer

After working two years at a local pharmacy receiving and dispensing prescription drugs, Patrick Brady, a 19-year-old who has cerebral palsy, took a job as a pharmacy assistant at a Centereach, N.Y., Wal-Mart.

During his first shift in the pharmacy department, the pharmacy manager became concerned with Brady's slow pace. The next week Brady was transferred to collecting shopping carts and garbage from the parking lot.
When he tried to get his pharmacy position back, his request was denied and he was moved to the food department instead. Discouraged, Brady quit.

And because Wal-Mart failed to do so, the 2nd Circuit affirmed the District Court's decision to decline granting summary judgment on the failure-to-accommodate claim. Danaher says the 2nd Circuit is placing more of the burden on employers to ask an employee if they need an accommodation. "Employers should be aware of this interpretation of the ADA's requirement for an interactive process," she says.

Interactive Process
Although employers are prohibited from asking about an employee's disability, using careful wording in making such an inquiry can lead to an employer getting an answer without directly asking about a disability.

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Yesenia Salcedo

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