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Unformatted text preview: r. (Compl. P 23). She also alleges that the
Department violated the ADA by failing to provide her with a reasonable
accommodation. (Id. P 22). The Department argues that it discharged Zihala because of
her poor work performance and disruptive behavior, not because of any alleged mental
disability. As to Zihala's reasonable accommodation claim, the Department claims that
Zihala never requested a reasonable accommodation. We address each of Zihala's claims
in turn. 186 I. The Department discharged Zihala because of her poor work performance and
The ADA was enacted "to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the
elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities." 42 U.S.C. § 12101(b)
(1). The ADA provides that "no covered entity shall discriminate against a qualified
individual with a disability because of the disability of such [*11] individual in regard to
job application procedures, the hiring, advancement, or discharge of employees,
employee compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of
employment." 42 U.S.C. § 12112(a). The quantum of proof necessary to establish a
violation of the ADA can be satisfied through either direct evidence that the employer's
decision was motivated by an illegitimate criterion under the ADA, or the indirect,
burden-shifting method established in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792,
801, 93 S. Ct. 1817, 1826, 36 L. Ed. 2d 668 (1973).
When, as here, the plaintiff has provided no direct evidence of discrimination, the
claims must proceed under the McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting approach.
The McDonnell Douglas approach places the initial burden on the plaintiff to
establish a prima facie case of illegal discrimination. This prima facie case requires
the plaintiff to establish that (1) she was "disabled" as defined underthe ADA; (2)
her work performance met the employer's legitimate expectations; (3) she suffered
an adverse employment action; and (4) the circumstances surrounding her
discharge indicate tha...
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- Spring '08