As our employment and disability discrimination lawyers have previously addressed, under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAA”), the definition of “disability” greatly expanded beyond that previously allowed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). We have blogged that Hepatitis B has been held a disability You can read our blogs on a broken leg being a disability here or the settlement for morning sickness as a disability.
The issue of whether sensitivity to odors may rise to the level of being a qualified disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) came to the surface again recently in an Illinois federal court. Three years removed from a Michigan federal court case whereby the City of Detroit gave $100,000 as a settlement to a plaintiff complaining that her chemical sensitivity to certain odors caused her to suffer migraines and nausea, in Mitter v. Cnty of DuPage, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, recently determined that an employee with an extreme sensitivity to perfumes and other odors can state a claim for relief under the ADA.
Here are the facts of the employment case: Working as a registered nurse for the sheriff’s office in DuPage County, Mitter alleged in her complaint that she began suffering dizziness, trouble breathing, headaches, and other ailments due to her adverse reaction to certain perfumes and other scented products in the workplace. Mitter asked the sheriff’s office for accommodations but she was not accommodated. When these problems continued for Mitter, she again requested accommodations and even provided a doctor’s note regarding her condition to the sheriff’s office. In response, she was told to look for another job.
Later, in May, 2011, Mitter was terminated for administering an incorrect medication to a patient. Mitter claims she was terminated due to her disability and accommodation requests. Once in court, the sheriff’s office filed a motion to dismiss regarding Mitter’s disability discrimination claim based on her sensitivity to odors. The Court denied the motion to dismiss, thus, allowing Mitter’s claims to continue forward for the time being.
Lawyer Answers: “How do I get a disability accommodation at work?”, “Can I be fired for being disabled?”, “Is my medical condition a disability under the ADA?”
If you are disabled or your employer perceives you as being disabled; and you have been fired, wrongfully terminated, discriminated against, demoted, wrongfully disciplined, denied wages, or even think that you might need a disability discrimination lawyer, then call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 866-797-6040. The best option is not to wait. Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm, and its attorneys are experienced and dedicated to protecting disables employees’ rights under ADA and Ohio law.
The materials available at the top of this page and on this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking, “how do I get a work accommodation for my disability?”, “am I disabled under the ADA?”, “what should I do…” or “my boss fired me for …”, it would be best for you to contact an Ohio attorney to obtain advice with respect to disability discrimination questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm, attorney Brian Spitz or any individual attorney.