Deciding body (English)
Type of body
Type of Court (material scope)
Type of jurisdiction
Type of Court (territorial scope)
Further areas addressed
- Use of protection devices
Outcome of the decision
The Plaintiff filed an action against the City of Tualatin based on the Americans with Disabilities Act, striking the City's requirement that individuals wear masks indoors to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Plaintiff claimed that the City required her to use a mask because it perceived her as having an infectious disease, which she equated with the perception that she had a disability. She requested an exemption from mask requirements on the grounds that she had an unnamed disability that limited her ability to breathe and communicate. The Plaintiff also claimed that she was subjected to discrimination and retaliation and also challenged the City’s vaccine mandate, which required all its employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or face termination. The Court analyzed three motions, two by the Plaintiff (motion to strike and motion to amend) and one by the Defendant (motion to dismiss). Finally, the Court denied the motions filed by the Plaintiff and granted the motion filed by the Defendant.
Facts of the case
The Plaintiff was employed by the City for 21 years and since she did not comply with the vaccine mandate and the use of face masks her contract was terminated.
Type of measure challenged
Measures, actions, remedies claimed
- Interim relief
- Annulment of administrative decision
Individual / collective enforcement
Nature of the parties
Type of procedure
Reasoning of the deciding body
The Court analyzed the Plaintiff’s claim that the City's assertion the COVID-19 pandemic had resulted in countless hospitalizations and deaths was "bogus" and completely unsupported by official public records. The Court reasoned that “because the COVID-19 pandemic is not bogus”, the Plaintiff’s request should be denied. Regarding the motion to dismiss for failure to exhaust administrative remedies, the Court argued that a plaintiff cannot bring a claim under the ADA until he/she has exhausted her administrative remedies with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commision or a state affiliate. The Court stated that the case did not meet the requirement because the Plaintiff’s EEOC complaint was still pending.
Furthermore, the Court reasoned that being perceived as having COVID-19 was not a cognizable disability under the ADA and that the second disability claimed by the Plaintiff was “pled with no specificity whatsoever,” nor did the Plaintiff adequately detail the accommodations she requested, or the City's response. These elements were all essential to an ADA claim.
Finally, the Court argued that out of an abundance of caution and with deference to the Plaintiff's pro se status, her claims were dismissed with leave to amend ( permission to refile) inasmuch as they related to her difficulty breathing and communicating and that the Plaintiff's proposed amended complaint was plagued with the same issues identified in the opinion with her original complaint.
Conclusions of the deciding body
The Court concluded that the Plaintiff had failed to exhaust all administrative remedies, that the Americans with Disabilities Act did not support the Plaintiff’s claims, and the Court therefore denied the Plaintiff’s motions and granted the Defendant’s motion to dismiss.
Fundamental Right(s) involved
Rights and freedoms specifically identified as (possibly) conflicting with the right to health
Balancing techniques and principles (proportionality, reasonableness, others)
The Court did not use balancing techniques, but based the decision on procedural law and case law.