To establish a viable disability discrimination claim an employee must show a causal connection betw

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has just held that even if a worker’s impairment can qualify as an impairment under the Americans with Disabilities Act, he/she could not establish a viable disability discrimination claim where he/she could not show a causal connection between his/her impairment and his/her termination. (See, Valtierra v. Medtronic Inc. - filed Aug. 20, 2019 - 2019 S.O.S. 17-15282.)

In Valtierra, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant in an employment discrimination action under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The plaintiff claimed he was terminated from his employment on account of his morbid obesity, which the district court held was not a physical impairment and could not constitute a disability unless it was caused by an underlying physiological condition. Therefore, plaintiff could not establish disability discrimination. The panel affirmed on other grounds, holding that, even if plaintiff’s obesity were an impairment under the ADA, or he suffered from a disabling knee condition that the district court could have considered, he could not show a causal relationship between these impairments and his termination.


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