U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

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Sixth Circuit addresses “motivating factor” test for ADA claims

May 25, 2012

The Sixth Circuit Court reversed the judgment below and remanded the case for a new trial. The court held that trial courts instructing juries in ADA cases should rely on the 'but-for' reasoning developed in Gross v. FBL, rather than the “motivating factor” standard put forth by the plaintiff.

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief in ADA case

August 10, 2011

NCLC urged the Sixth Circuit, rehearing this case en banc, to hold that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires plaintiffs to demonstrate that disability was the primary motivation for an adverse employment action. The plaintiffs in this case contend that the court should use a “motivating factor” test to hold employers liable for allegedly unlawful discrimination under the ADA. NCLC argued that the “motivating factor” test is prohibited under the plain text of the ADA. NCLC also argued that the U.S. Supreme Court's reasoning in Gross v. FBL Financial Services, where the Court held that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act bars “mixed motive” actions, applies equally to the ADA. NCLC warned that an improper standard of proof for ADA claims would subject employers to a greater risk of costly, frivolous litigation.

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