Gajda v. Manhattan

396 F.3d 187 (2005)
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Plaintiff Gajda, a bus driver for Defendant, challenged the District Court finding that it was “consistent with business necessity” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), § 12112(d)(4), for the Defendant to require the Plaintiff to disclose the results of his HIV-related laboratory tests.

The relevant provision of the ADA states that “[a] covered entity shall not require a medical examination and shall not make inquiries of an employee as to whether such employee is an individual with a disability or as to the nature or severity of the disability, unless such examination or inquiry is shown to be job-related and consistent with business necessity.”

The court held that the Defendant was a covered entity under the ADA and that it had unquestionably made inquiries of an employee as to the nature or severity of a disability. The only issue to be addressed was whether Defendant’s requirement that Gajda disclose the results of his HIV tests was a “job-related” inquiry “consistent with business necessity.”

The court held that case law on inquiries indicated that “courts will readily find a business necessity if an employer can demonstrate that a medical examination or inquiry is necessary to determine . . . whether the employee can perform job related duties when the employer can identify legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons to doubt the employee’s capacity to perform his or her duties.” The court found that this criteria was met here because the representations made by the Plaintiff―signed by his doctor―on an application for intermittent leave indicated that Gajda’s “serious health condition render[ed] [him] unable to perform the functions of [his] position”; “that his condition left him unable to perform work of any kind”; and that he would need “intermittent leave at undetermined times for lifetime.” As a result, the court held that the Defendant “had legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons to doubt the employee's capacity to perform his . . . duties.”

“We further noted in Conroy that ‘[t]he employer must also show that the examination or inquiry genuinely serves the asserted business necessity and that the request is no broader or more intrusive than necessary. The employer need not show that the examination or inquiry is the only way of achieving a business necessity, but the examination or inquiry must be a reasonably effective method of achieving the employer's goal.’” 396 F.3d 187, pp. 188-89.

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