Friday, December 7, 2007

Disability Rights Coming to the Supreme Court

4united_states_supreme_court_1129_2Update: More about the Huber case from the Wall Street Journal, including this interesting tidbit:

Justice Stephen Breyer, who reported holding Wal-Mart stock in his most recent financial disclosure, recused himself from the case, opening the appeal up to a possible 4-4 tie. (Huber v. Wal-Mart Stores)

I think it is more likely 5-3 in favor of Wal-Mart now.

And here is our previous post on the case from last May.

As mentioned earlier this morning, the Supreme Court was considering a number of employment law cases today. Well, the Court has decided to grant cert. in Huber v. Wal-Mart, at least the first question presented (via SCOTUSBlog):

The Court also agreed to hear cases on the rights of disabled workers to be assigned to open jobs ahead of other workers (Huber v. Wal-Mart, 07-480).

SCOTUSBlog predicts that these cases are likely to come up for oral argument in March, which probably means a June decision.

The issue in Huber is central to a continuing debate about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of whether it is an equal opportunity statute or preference statute.  The dispute over whether qualified disabled individuals must be given preference in reassignment to vacant positions has been a hot issue since 1999 and the Midland Brake case from the 10th Circuit.

I am happy to see this case being argued, but with the rightward tilt of the court, I can already see a pro-employer ruling on the horizon which will limit the ADA further and merely allow a disabled person to be considered with others for reassignment to a vacant position as a reasonable accommodation.

Here's more documents:

PS

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/laborprof_blog/2007/12/disability-righ.html

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» Supremes Grant Cert. In Reverse Disability Discrimination Case from Adjunct Law Prof Blog
On December 7, 2007, the Supremes granted cert. in a major disability discrimination case involving non-other than Walmart. The case is Huber v. Wal-Mart, 07-480. SCOTUS Blog describes the case as follows:The issue to be decided is whether an individual [Read More]

Tracked on Dec 9, 2007 9:13:37 PM

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