The Second Circuit has been a bit busier of late making it tougher to keep up with all the developments (though I would suggest the Wait a Second blog as a good site to follow to do so).
Yesterday, in McBride v. BIC Consumer Products (download here), the Second Circuit rejected an employee’s ADA claim finding that, with aid of a reasonable accommodation, she was qualified for either her pre-disability position or a suitable vacant position to which she could have been reassigned.
Because of this, the Court held that the employer’s alleged failure to engage in an interactive process intended to discover an accommodation suitable to both parties was immaterial.
The case is well worth looking at because it shows some real limits to ADA claims; employees who develop a disability (as she did here since she could not work with the chemicals her job required) must show that there is a vacant position that he or she is otherwise qualified for. Here, the employee could not.
Employers, however, should recall that Connecticut has its own set of rules when it comes to reasonable accommodation as outlined in a Connecticut Supreme Court case from last year. Connecticut appears to be taking a slightly more expansive view of the laws at this point so employers should be proceeding carefully in such situations.