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ADA Retaliation Action?

ada25-logoThis guest-post is a synopsis of “whether a corporation has a cause of action for retaliation under the ADA,” by Attorney William Goren from his blog, Understanding the ADA.

While the Author concludes the answer is “No” based on the retaliation provision in the ADA, he explores whether a corporation would have an associational discrimination claim because the phrasing of the statute is significantly different than the retaliation statute.

While the Author concludes that no claim exists because of the phrasing of the retaliation provision in the ADA, he also explores whether a corporation would have an associational discrimination claim because the phrasing of the statute is significantly different than the retaliation statute.

As discussed in the blog entry, what happened is that transportation companies that pick up people with disabilities at an airport decided to join with people with disabilities in challenging where people with disabilities could get picked up at the airport. Once they did that, the airport retaliated against the companies in ways discussed in the blog entry. The company then brought a retaliation suit. The question before the court was whether a company rather than an individual has the right to bring a retaliation claim under the ADA. As mentioned above, the court concludes that the wording of the retaliation provision of the ADA is such that a company does not have a retaliation claim. That may be true, but the author also looked at the association discrimination provisions of the ADA. It turns out that the wording of the association provisions of the ADA is significantly different than the wording under the retaliation provision. Therefore, while it makes sense that a corporation would not have a retaliation claim based on the plain meaning of the ADA retaliation provision, the wording of the associational discrimination provision of the ADA means that if a corporation faces “retaliation” for advocating or being involved with a person with a disability, the company may well want to explore an associational discrimination claim.

The upshot is that, while it makes sense that a corporation would not have a retaliation claim based on the plain meaning of the subject provision, the wording of the associational discrimination provision of the ADA means that if a corporation faces “retaliation” for advocating or being involved with a person with a disability, the company may well want to explore an associational discrimination claim.

Bill GorenBill Goren

Find this and other interesting posts on William Goren’s ADA Blog Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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