Labor: Disabled employees have a leg up for reassignment to vacant positions in certain states

The 7th Circuit is the latest to give disabled employees preference for open jobs

Unless the Supreme Court decides to weigh in on a dispute between the circuits, employers with workers in multiple states are forced to navigate state by state where they are required to place a minimally-qualified disabled candidate into a vacant position over a more qualified non-disabled candidate. In its December 2012 petition for a writ of certiorari, United Air Lines Inc. asked the high court to address this important issue by reviewing a 7th Circuit ruling that essentially turns the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into an affirmative action statute (EEOC v. United Airlines, Inc.).

Back in 2000, the 7th Circuit held in EEOC v. Humiston-Keeling that an employer did not violate the ADA if it required disabled employees to compete with other candidates rather than be automatically awarded vacant positions as accommodations.

Contributing Author

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Ellen Girard Giorgiadis

Ellen Girard Georgiadis is a partner in Quarles & Brady's Chicago office. Her practice focuses on all areas of labor and employment law, with an...

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