Disability Discrimination

In a decision that may lead employers to feel a little less gratified on Thanksgiving Day, a California appellate court determined last week that “even a legitimate company policy, if mistakenly applied,” can lead to liability for disability discrimination in the Golden State.  Specifically, the Court of Appeal ruled that “a lack of [discriminatory] animus

In Green v. Dallas County School District, a Texas jury found that a Dallas County School District (the “School District”) violated Texas disability discrimination laws when it fired a bus monitor who lost control of his bladder on a school bus.  The bus monitor, Paul Green, suffered a known disability – congestive heart failure

Joining similar holdings from several other circuits, the Ninth CircuitLucas Clary 02_web recently held in Mayo v. PCC Structurals, Inc. that a depressed employee who threatened to kill his co-workers and was thereafter fired was not a qualified individual under the ADA.  The court therefore affirmed the district court’s summary judgment on the employee’s disability discrimination claim.

Stress, Depression, and Bullying Lead Employee to Threaten Co-Workers’ Lives

The plaintiff, Timothy Mayo, welded aircraft parts for PCC Structurals.  In 1999, Mayo was diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD).  Despite the diagnosis, he continued working without incident for years.  In 2010, that changed.  Mayo and some other co-workers felt they were being bullied by their supervisor.  Following a co-worker’s complaint and a subsequent meeting to discuss the bullying, Mayo told three different co-workers that he wanted to kill the supervisor.  He told one co-worker that he felt like bringing a shotgun to work and “blowing off” the supervisor and others’ heads.  He told another co-worker that he wanted to “bring a gun down and start shooting people,” explaining that 1:30 p.m. was an optimal time because all of the supervisors would be present.  Pretty scary stuff.

Mayo’s co-workers reported the threats and HR reached out to him.  He told an HR representative that he “couldn’t guarantee” he wouldn’t carry out the threats.  PCC suspended him and called the police, who in turn took Mayo into custody for six days on the basis that he was a threat to himself and others.  After his release, Mayo spent two months on FMLA leave.  His doctor thereafter cleared him to return to work but suggested that he be assigned a different supervisor.  Instead, PCC fired him.


Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Says Employee Who Made Death Threats Against His Co-Workers Could Not Sue His Employer For Disability Discrimination

Summary of Program

Join the attorneys from Weintraub Tobin’s Labor and Employment Group as they discuss important legal developments from 2013 and review the complexities of a number of new laws facing employers in 2014.

Program Highlights

  • New Federal and State Legislation and Regulatory Requirements
  • Updates in the World of Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation Law

2013  – A Year in Review

2014 – An Interesting Year Ahead

Summary of Program

Join the attorneys from Weintraub Tobin’s Labor and Employment Group as they discuss important legal developments from 2013 and review the complexities of a number of new laws facing employersin 2014. 

Sacramento Date:    January 16, 2014

Time:   9:00 a.m. –