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Disability Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Legislation

2014

University of Michigan Law School

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Full-Text Articles in Disability Law

Designing A Flexible World For The Many: "Essential Functions" And Title I Of The Americans With Disabilities Act, Michael J. Powers Jan 2014

Designing A Flexible World For The Many: "Essential Functions" And Title I Of The Americans With Disabilities Act, Michael J. Powers

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Note explores how courts interpret the meaning of “essential functions” under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act. To be protected under the ADA, a plaintiff must be able to perform the “essential functions” of her job with or without a reasonable accommodation. In general, courts follow one of two approaches when interpreting this phrase. The first approach narrowly focuses on the employer’s judgment regarding which functions are essential. The second approach considers the employer’s judgment, but looks beyond to consider the broader employment relationship. This Note argues that these different approaches have led to varying ...