Deciding body (English)
Type of body
Type of Court (material scope)
Type of jurisdiction
Type of Court (territorial scope)
Further areas addressed
Outcome of the decision
Plaintiff was an employee at a bank and was dismissed after receiving negative performance reviews right after his return to work after being hospitalized with Covid-19. Plaintiff filed an action against the bank claiming she suffered prejudice for contracting Covid-19 and that she was disabled because of the consequences of the disease. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss arguing that the five-day hospitalization of the Plaintiff did not qualify as a “record of impairment” under the Americans with Disabilities Act and that the Plaintiff had failed to present a plausible claim. The Court agreed with the Defendant’s arguments and granted the motion to dismiss.
Facts of the case
The Plaintiff worked for the Defendant as a senior payroll assistant. While the Plaintiff was employed by the Defendant, her husband contracted Covid-19; consequently, the Plaintiff was required by the Defendant to take medical leave, effective July 15, 2020. While on medical leave, the Plaintiff contracted Covid-19, and was hospitalized for five days. Due to severe lung problems, she was admitted to the hospital's intensive care unit, where she remained for the full five days. She was treated for Covid-19 and a related case of pneumonia. After receiving a negative Covid-19 test, the Plaintiff returned to work on August 10, 2020. The Plaintiff did not have any complaints about her work performance prior to her medical leave but upon her return, she allegedly began to receive complaints from her immediate supervisor. On August 20, 2020, the Plaintiff received an unsatisfactory performance review, and was discharged on September 9, 2020. She was unable to find subsequent employment for a period of approximately six months.
Type of measure challenged
Individual / collective enforcement
Nature of the parties
Type of procedure
Reasoning of the deciding body
The Court analyzed the arguments of the Plaintiffs and Defendants and reasoned that:
- Impairment is not always considered to be substantially impactful on a major life activity, and an impairment that is not substantially impactful does not satisfy the Americans with Disabilities Act definition of a "disability."
- The Plaintiff's five-day case of Covid-19 and pneumonia—after which she tested negative for Covid-19 and after which she suffered no further symptoms, conditions, or effects related to these diseases—were minor and transitory, and therefore fell outside the bounds of the "disability" definition.
Conclusions of the deciding body
The Court concluded that the Defendant had successfully made its case in favor of dismissal and, for that reason, the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss was granted.