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Third Circuit Affirms Judgment in Favor of Employer in ADA Action, Finding that Compliance with NRC Regulations Justified Employee's Termination

Executive Summary: Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in McNelis v. Pennsylvania Power & Light Company affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the employer in a lawsuit alleging disability discrimination under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), finding the employer properly terminated a security guard at a nuclear plant after he was declared “unfit for duty” pursuant to Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulations and lost his security clearance.

Do multiple death threats from a depressed employee make him ineligible for protection under disability laws? The Ninth Circuit says Yes.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has determined that an employee’s reaction to stress that included threats to kill co-workers – made in “chilling detail and on multiple occasions” – meant that the individual could not perform an essential function of his job and, therefore, was not a “qualified individual” for protection under disability discrimination law. Mayo v. PCC Structurals, Inc., 9th Cir., No. 13-35643, July 28, 2015.
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