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Sepulveda-Vargas v. Caribbean Restaurants, LLC

Articles Discussing Case:

First Circuit Finds Termination of Employee for Inability to Work Rotating Schedule Did Not Violate the Americans with Disabilities Act

FordHarrison LLP • May 10, 2018
Executive Summary: Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, in Sepulveda-Vargas v. Caribbean Restaurants, LLC, affirmed a lower court’s decision in favor of the employer in a lawsuit alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), finding that the plaintiff, an assistant manager, was not a “qualified individual” under the ADA based on his inability to work rotating shifts, since the ability to work rotating shifts was an essential job function of the assistant manager position. The Court of Appeals further found that a temporary accommodation, which permitted the plaintiff to work a fixed schedule, did “not mean that [the employer] conceded that rotating shifts was a ‘non-essential’ function.” Finally, the First Circuit found that the employee’s claim of a retaliatory hostile environment was properly dismissed, since the district court found that “collectively [the alleged incidents] amount[ed] to nothing more than the petty insults and minor annoyances which are insufficient to constitute an adverse employment action under the ADA.” The First Circuit is the federal appeals court with jurisdiction over the federal district courts in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico and Rhode Island.