• Perceived Disability Claim Can Proceed Under Both NJLAD and ADA Regardless of The Fact That No Actual Disability Exists.
  • July 14, 2017
  • The plaintiff was diagnosed with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in 1993, although he was asymptomatic when he began working for Valcor Engineering in 2010. Two years after being hired, the plaintiff requested reasonable accommodations due to his status as a disabled veteran and without mentioning his HIV diagnosis. During an ensuing meeting concerning the scope of his leave, the plaintiff claimed that he disclosed his medical condition. When the plaintiff failed to return at the end of his approved leave, he was terminated. In evaluating the employer’s motion for summary judgment on the discrimination claim, Judge Vasquez held that the 2008 amendments to the ADA allowed for a claim of perceived disability discrimination by establishing an actual or perceived physical or mental impairment, regardless of whether the perceived limitation is to a major life activity. To sustain a claim of perceived disability discrimination, the focus is on the actions of the employer. The fact that no actual disability exists is irrelevant.