In 2003, the airline established guidelines that address accommodating employees who, because of disability, can no longer do essential functions of their current jobs, even with reasonable accommodation. The guidelines specify that the transfer process is competitive, so that an employee in need of accommodation will not be automatically placed into a vacant position, but will be given preference over similarly qualified applicants. The EEOC challenged the policy under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12101. The district court ruled in favor of the airline. On rehearing, en banc, the Seventh Circuit reversed and held that the ADA does mandate that an employer appoint employees with disabilities to vacant positions for which they are qualified, provided that such accommodations would be ordinarily reasonable and would not present an undue hardship to that employer. The court concluded that contrary precedent did not survive in light of U.S. Airways, Inc. v. Barnett, 535 U.S. 391 (2002). View "Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n v. United Airlines, Inc." on Justia Law
Posted in: Aviation, Health Law, Injury Law, Labor & Employment Law, U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
While working as a flight attendant, LeGrande was injured when the aircraft encountered severe turbulence. She sued the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. 2674, alleging that air traffic controllers employed by the FAA negligently had failed to warn the flight’s captain that turbulence had been forecast along the flight path. The district court concluded that FAA employees did not breach any duty owed LeGrande and granted summary judgment for the government. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. LeGrande argued, for the first time, that her injuries resulted from the negligence of a National Weather Service meteorologist. The court concluded that the FAA breached no duty owed to LeGrande and that LeGrande failed to give the NWS the notice that the FTCA requires. View "LeGrande v. United States" on Justia Law
Posted in: Aviation, Government & Administrative Law, Injury Law, Transportation Law, U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Airlines, users of airports owned by the City of Chicago, have use agreements that make they city responsible for runway clearing. The airlines pay a per-landing fee, based on the city's actual expenses. In 1999 and 2000 the airports were crippled by severe snowstorms. The city obtained $6,000,000 in reimbursement from FEMA under the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121. Years later FEMA ordered the city to return the money, based on a provision of the Act concerning duplicate benefits. FEMA asserted that the use agreements entitled the city to reimbursement of costs from the airlines. After exhausting administrative remedies the city filed suit. The district court denied the airlines' motion to intervene. The Seventh Circuit reversed. Finding that the airlines have standing, the court stated that t would not be as "efficient to litigate this three-cornered dispute in two lawsuits rather than one."
Posted in: Aviation, Government & Administrative Law, Government Contracts, U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals