Saturday, May 4, 2013

Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Echazabal

Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Echazabal
536 U.S. 73

CASE SYNOPSIS: Respondent applicant sued petitioner employer, alleging that the employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C.S. § 12101 et seq., in refusing to hire him because of a disability. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the grant of summary judgment to the employer, finding that the ADA did not permit a regulation recognizing a harm-to-self defense. Certiorari was granted.

FACTS: The employer refused to hire the applicant because a physical examination showed liver abnormality or damage caused by Hepatitis C, which the employer's doctors said would be aggravated by continued exposure to toxins at the employer's refinery. The employer defended the ADA suit by claiming that 29 C.F.R. § 1630.15(b)(2) (2001) permitted the defense that the applicant's disability on the job posed a direct threat to his health. The United States Supreme Court determined that the ADA did not preclude the harm-to-self regulation. The Court rejected the applicant's argument that the harm-to-others provision in 42 U.S.C.S. § 12113(b) excluded the harm-to-self defense. The interpretive canon expressio unius exclusio alterius did not apply. Chevron deference applied to the regulation because the regulation made sense of the statutory defense for qualification standards that are job-related and consistent with business necessity; the risk of violating the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 29 U.S.C.S. § 651 et seq., was enough to show that the regulation was entitled to survive.

CONCLUSION: The judgment of the appellate court was reversed and the case was remanded.

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