Saturday, May 4, 2013

Raytheon Co. v. Hernandez case brief

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Raytheon Co. v. Hernandez case brief
124 S. Ct. 513

CASE SYNOPSIS: Respondent former employee sued petitioner employer, alleging that the employer refused to rehire the employee, after his discharge based on a positive drug test, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C.S. § 12101 et seq. Upon the grant of a writ of certiorari, the employer appealed the judgment in favor of the employee entered in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

FACTS: The employer contended that the employee was not rehired based on the employer's policy not to rehire employees who left the company for violating workplace conduct rules. The lower appellate court found, however, that application of the policy was not a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for the employer's refusal to rehire the employee, since the policy resulted in barring reemployment of drug addicts despite successful rehabilitation in violation of the ADA. The United States Supreme Court held that the lower court improperly determined that the employer's policy had a disparate impact on recovering drug addicts, when the proper issue was whether the employer engaged in disparate treatment in refusing to rehire the employee because of his disability. If the employer did indeed apply a neutral, generally applicable no-rehire policy in rejecting the employee's application, the employer's decision not to rehire the employee could, in no way, be said to have been motivated by respondent's disability. Thus, in finding disparate impact from the policy, the lower court failed to address whether discriminatory disparate treatment was shown as alleged by the employee.

CONCLUSION: The judgment in favor of the employee was vacated and the case was remanded for further proceedings.

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