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Unformatted text preview: .Ct. 2139, 144 L.Ed.2d 450 (1999), suggests (in
dictum--the question before the Court was whether a person who has to wear glasses is
disabled because without them he couldn't see) that the answer is "no" unless the
individual is mistakenly regarded by his employer as having a disability; such a mistake
is an alternative trigger of the Act's protections. 42 U.S.C. § 12102(2)(C); EEOC v.
Rockwell Int'l Corp., 243 F.3d 1012, 1014-15 (7th Cir.2001).
Larimer must lose even if his daughters are disabled or regarded as disabled. He is suing
not on their behalf but on his own, under a provision of the ADA that forbids
discrimination against "a qualified individual because of the known disability of an
individual with whom the qualified individual is known to have a relationship or
association." 42 U.S.C. § 12112(b)(4). Notice first the oddity of requiring the plaintiff to
show that he is a "qualified individual," since the only definition in the ADA of a
"qualified individual" is the definition of "qualified individual with a disability" as "an
individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform
the essential functions of the employment position that such individual holds or desires."
42 U.S.C. § 12111(8). If this is the "qualified individual" to which the association
provision (section 12112(b)(4)) refers, then Larimer cannot obtain any relief under that
provision because he has no disability! The term "qualified individual" in that provision
must simply mean qualified to do one's job, as assumed though nowhere discussed in the
legislative history and the cases. H.R. Rep. 101-485, pt. 2, at 61-62 (1990), reprinted in
1990 U.S.C.C.A.N. 303, 343-44; 29 C.F.R. § 1630.8; Hilburn v. Murata Electronics
North America, Inc., 181 F.3d 1220, 1230-31 (11th Cir.1999); Den Hartog v. Wasatch
Academy, supra, 129 F.3d at 1083- 85; Ennis v. National Ass'n of Business &
Educational Radio, Inc., 53 F.3d 55, 59-60 (4th Cir.1995); Rocky v. Columb...
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- Spring '08