Revere (Paul Revere Furniture Company) is a leading retailer and manufacturer of high-end furniture located in Longville. The business sells its products across the country and employs over eight hundred individuals from thirty states. John Falstaff (plaintiff) applied for the floor manager position on July 1, 2010, in the Longville store after identifying the position on the company’s website. Falstaff was interviewed by Constance Howe who was the regional vice president. Howe was in charge of supervising the floor managers in the Longville area. Falstaff got the job on July 5, 2010, when he filled the personnel form indicating that he did not have any conditions that would prevent him from performing his job and did not have any injuries. Falstaff stated that he was fit to perform the physical tasks required by the position. At the moment, he weighed over two hundred pounds and his height was six feet. He worked effectively for a year and received positive reviews in his performance. However, in June 2011 he called in sick indicating that he had a back injury. Howe called him two days later, and he told him that he had a sharp back pain that hindered him from standing or sitting comfortably. Falstaff was advised to take two days of rest before returning to work and apply for disability insurance if his condition got worse. Falstaff was fired, and he claimed that it was due to his disability.
Falstaff can present an argument that his termination was based on his disability which is termed as overt discrimination. He could argue that his dismissal is based on wrong motives which is based on the disability and legitimate reasons which are centered on cutting costs. Revere would have to make reasonable changes to the work environment to accommodate Falstaff in his condition. The disability was not revealed at the time of the employment, and this meant that Revere had made provisions at work and would incur additional costs. The position that Falstaff worked in required standing for a long time and this meant that the company would have to have to hire additional staff to help in this role. This would lead to higher costs; hence, laying Falstaff off would be the economical thing to do. Judging from this, Revere had a case to answer and should have compensated Falstaff for terminating him due to disability.
Falstaff was wrongfully fired according to ADA and ADAAA, and Revere should compensate him for erroneous termination. It follows that the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are the federal laws that stipulate the companies with more than fifteen employees should not discriminate against individuals or applicants with disabilities. This means that Revere was wrong in firing Falstaff as it has attained the minimum number of employees that require ADAAA and ADA adherence.
The condition Falstaff is in qualifies as a disability based on the ADA policy. ADA defines disability as a physical impairment that significantly limits an individual’s activity. It can be observed that Falstaff’s physical well-being was affected by the condition as he could not sit or stand for a long time. The condition interfered with his performance of manual tasks and qualified as a disability. It affected his body system and his physical well-being. Falstaff’s state changed his critical functions on the job as his role as a floor manager involved walking and sitting for a long time. The employer would incur undue hardship due to the condition of the employee. As a result, Revere was required to state the cost and nature of accommodation concerning the size and scope of the organization. The condition is considered to be a significant threat to Falstaff and can be eliminated through reasonable accommodation.
The causation question comes into mind as it is imperative to determine if the back injury was caused by obesity. It follows that there has been a contentious debate that questions on whether obesity should be considered a disability. It can be noted that the new provisions in ADAAA assert that obesity is a disability. Judging from this, Falstaff’s termination was unlawful as it was done due to the disability that Revere assumed that would negatively affect the performance of his tasks. The employer can argue that the condition was not revealed at the time of employment. However, Falstaff indicated his weight, and this could have been used to justify that he was obese. This meant that the employer was wrong in dismissing Falstaff.
A review of Falstaff’s performance reveals that he had performed his duties accordingly. His actions were within the company’s policy. Revere dismissal was not based on poor performance meaning that it was unfair. Additionally, his role was managerial, and he could give instructions to the subordinates on how to complete the intended tasks. The employer did not provide Falstaff a temporary position to evaluate his performance. No arrangements were made to accommodate him. As a result, the company did not assess his performance following making the necessary changes to determine if the back injury would adversely affect his performance. Falstaff had the right to sue the company for firing him due to his disability.
Howe advised Falstaff to file a disability insurance claim if his condition worsened. This meant that his supervisor acknowledged that his state would interfere with the performance of his duties. The back injury could have been caused by the plaintiff’s obesity that has been recently acknowledged to be a disability. Falstaff was not given the opportunity to file the disability claim, and his dismissal could have been motivated by the additional costs that the Revere would incur.
The McDonnell Douglas standard is the legal principle that states that the plaintiff should provide evidence to prove discrimination. In this case, Falstaff is the employee that is required to show that he was dismissed due to his back injury that hindered him from performing his duties accordingly. As previously mentioned, the back pain that is linked to obesity qualifies as a disability based on the ADA and ADAAA policies. The standard also requires the employer (defendant) to demonstrate that the action taken was not based on discriminatory reasons. The standard evolved from the McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (U.S. 1973). The rule requires three critical conditions to be met that are used to determine that Falstaff’s case is justified. First, the complainant should establish a prima facie case of unfairness. Second, the employee should produce facts that prove discrimination. Third, the employer should give evidence of a lawful justification for its actions. If this happens, discrimination allegations become invalid.
The first requirement states that Falstaff was needed to establish a prima facie discrimination case. In this case, he could have argued that he was terminated for reporting the back injury even though he performed his duties as stipulated. As previously mentioned, his assessment stated that his performance in the role was favorable. He explained to Howe about the back pain that was caused by the strain experienced in the workplace. The dismissal was abrupt and happened after Falstaff’s communication on the state of his health. Consequently, the case that Falstaff filed against Revere was justified as it became clear that he was fired because of the disability. The second standard required the employer to give sufficient evidence of the reasons behind its decision. In this case, Revere did not have proof for Falstaff’s dismal performance in his role as the floor manager. Further, Revere did not offer accommodations to provide a comfortable work environment and appropriate working conditions. The discrimination claim was valid. The third standard required Falstaff to demonstrate an implication of discrimination. It can be argued that the dismissal was influenced by communication on disability. Howe asked Falstaff to take time to recover after which he got news on his termination. The company had not shown any form of discrimination before communication on discrimination. Therefore, McDonnell Douglas standard proves that Revere’s move in terminating Falstaff was discriminatory due to his disability. His role as a productive employee had declined significantly, and the company was needed to make provisions to support him in performing the demanding role of the floor manager.
The case can be evaluated using the regarded as test position. The position can be assessed using three central positions. To start with, it was imperative for Revere to consider if Falstaff would perform his duties accordingly with the consideration of the accommodation. Revere could have determined this by analyzing the disability claim filed by Falstaff. However, he was not given a chance to prove this which demonstrated that his dismissal was unlawful. It was necessary for Revere to understand his disability to decide the best legal action to take. The second issue that Revere should have considered in its decision was when firing the plaintiff is whether there were incidents of misconduct. It is clear that Falstaff performed his duties as stipulated and he revealed all the necessary information at the start of the employment. The third issue that is considered is whether the case was related to a business necessity. It follows that the decision to lay Falstaff off could have been motivated by the need to cut down on operational costs and keep up with competition in the sector.
In summation, the case is a representation of the issues being faced by companies and employees when dealing with disability. The topic can be best understood using the McDonnell Douglas standard and qualified disability under ADA and ADAAA policy. Falstaff could have argued that the dismissal was unauthorized as Revere was liable to the ADA and ADAAA policy. He could have also proved a reasonable case using the principles of the McDonnell Douglas standard. Accordingly, it was right for Revere to compensate Falstaff for wrongful termination as it failed to provide accommodations to support his role and fired him on the basis of disability.