HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Huber: Disability Law Case Granted Cert.

Last week, the Supreme Court granted cert. in the Huber v. Wal-Mart case concerning disabled employee rights to reassignment to vacant positions. Scotusblog provides a brief overview: 

In the Huber case, the Court limited its grant of review to the first question raised, and Justice Stephen G. Breyer recused. The issue to be decided is whether an individual who is disabled and cannot perform her present job must be reassigned to a vacant, equivalent position without having to compete with other workers for that slot. The case involves Pat Huber, a Wal-Mart employee in Clarksville, Ark. After she became disabled by an injury, she sought an open job, but a non-disabled worker gained the position. Wal-Mart said the other worker was better qualified, and that it followed a policy of basing such assignments on qualifications. The appeal says that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued regulations providing that a disabled worker need not be the best qualified for an open position to obtain it in a reassignment. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to make “reasonable accommodations” for their disabled employees.  The Circuit Courts are split on the issue at stake.

Scotusblog also posts the following:

Docket: 07-480
Case name: Huber v. Wal-Mart
Issue: Whether, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, disabled employees must be reassigned to a vacant position for which they are qualified or merely be permitted to apply for such a position.

The Laborprofblog has some thoughts on the case and is not optimistic about the plaintiff's chances.

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