A recent decision from a district court in Indiana holding that cancer in remission is a protected disability regardless of whether it currently limits a major life activity serves as a valuable harbinger of how courts will likely interpret the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act's (ADAAA) disability standard. [Hoffman v. Carefirst of Fort Wayne, Inc. d/b/a Advanced Healthcare, No. 1:09-CV-251 (N.D. Ind. Aug. 31, 2010).]
The plaintiff in Hoffman was diagnosed with renal cancer in November 2007 and, after time off for surgery and recovery, returned to work without restriction in January 2008. One year later, while his cancer was in remission, Hoffman requested an accommodation to his work schedule when his employer informed him that all employees in his position would be required to work mandatory overtime. The company agreed to limit Hoffman's workweek to 40 hours, but required him to work out of an office that would add two to three hours of travel per day. Hoffman ultimately sued his employer for disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended by the ADAAA, alleging the company improperly terminated his employment without offering a reasonable accommodation.