Is it a violation of the ADA when an employee is dismissed from their job because their disability prevents them from doing it properly?
In a recent lawsuit, the 3rd Circuit said ‘no.’
Denied the first time
Chase Frost worked as a firefighter for the city of Philadelphia when he obtained an injury on the job.
After his injury, Frost expressed interest in becoming a paramedic.
Though initially denied the first time he applied, a physical therapist examined Frost and cleared him for participation in the paramedic academy training class. However, Frost went on to fail a patient protocol test twice.
In accordance with its policy, the city dismissed Frost. He then sued, claiming disability discrimination.
Frost claimed the city didn’t allow a physical therapist to examine him in time to enroll in the training class the first year he wanted to, thus amounting to disability discrimination.
But the 3rd Circuit disagreed. It said Frost wasn’t qualified the first year he applied because of his injury, and the timing of his evaluation wouldn’t have changed that.
Furthermore, Frost’s firing wasn’t discrimination either because the city had fired other employees for failing the same test as Frost.
Policies were followed and the ADA wasn’t violated, the court said.
Cite: Frost v. City of Philadelphia, 1/6/21.