Retroactive Leniency Not a Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA

On October 11, 2017, the 10th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s ruling that retroactive leniency for past misconduct does not constitute a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In this case, Profita v. Regents of the University of Colorado, the Plaintiff was a former student of the University of Colorado Medical School and suffered from untreated Major Depressive Disorder, an unspecified anxiety disorder, and complications of chronic insomnia, sleep apnea and hypothyroidism.

Plaintiff was dismissed from the University of Colorado medical program after he failed to complete his clinical rotations and sought readmission with full credit for prior coursework following treatment for his conditions. The College denied him readmission and told him to reapply as a new student, prompting Plaintiff to seek readmission with full credit as a reasonable accommodation under Title II of the ADA. The College denied Plaintiff’s accommodation request, after which point the Plaintiff filed suit. The District Court found that under the ADA, the Defendant was not required to apply accommodations retroactively.

The 10th Circuit panel affirmed the trial court’s allowance of the College’s Motion to Dismiss. In their decision, the panel extended its holding from a recent employment discrimination case, Dewitt v. Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, in which it held that an employer is not required to reasonably accommodate an employee’s disability by overlooking his previous misconduct, even if that misconduct resulted from his disability.

Categorized: Americans with Disabilities Act, Retroactive Leneincy

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Bowditch attorneys are regularly retained by institutions of higher education to conduct sexual misconduct investigations. Our attorneys are approved investigators of sexual misconduct and frequently hired by United Educators. We also provide consulting services and training to colleges, universities and secondary schools on a wide variety of issues relating to preventing, investigating and responding to sexual misconduct.

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Anthony J. Dragga

Tony Dragga is an Associate in the firm’s Estate, Financial & Tax Planning Practice Area, helping clients in Massachusetts with a variety of matters, including estate planning and the preparation and administration of estates.

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Anthony J. Dragga

Tony Dragga is an Associate in the firm’s Estate, Financial & Tax Planning Practice Area, helping clients in Massachusetts with a variety of matters, including estate planning and the preparation and administration of estates.

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