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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Haggar Apparel Co. employed Maria Leal as a seamstress and label presser from 1979 to 1994. She worked on an assembly line. In 1983, Leal was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome in her left wrist and successfully treated, but in 1993, she suffered a recurrence of that condition and also developed a similar condition in her right wrist, as well as lower back problems. She was treated for several months during which she continued to work, although at lighter duties. One of her physicians released her to return to her regular job in June 1994, but she worked only a few days before taking a week’s vacation. She returned to work more than two days late and was terminated. At the time, Leal was on probation for excessive, unexcused absences. Leal sued Haggar for discharging her because of disability, age, and a worker’s compensation claim. She also sued for intentional infliction of emotional distress. The jury returned a verdict for Leal on her disability claim but against her on the other three claims. The trial court rendered judgment on the verdict. Only Haggar appealed. The court of appeals affirmed. HOLDING:Reversed and rendered. Texas Labor Code 21.051 makes it unlawful for an employer to discharge an employee because of disability. As relevant to this case, disability is defined as having a “physical impairment that substantially limits at least one major life activity . . . or being regarded as having such an impairment.” Leal conceded at trial that shortly before she was terminated, one of her physicians released her to regular duty and another to moderate duty. Leal continued to work at Haggar up to the day she was terminated. Leal does not argue that she was unable to work in a broad class of jobs. To the contrary, she testified that, after she left Haggar, she worked for a child care facility and applied to work at the public school. Toyota Motor Mfg., Kentucky, Inc. v. Williams, 534 U.S. 184 (2002), presented a similar situation. The employee there worked on an engine fabrication assembly line. After she contracted bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome and related impairments, her employer adjusted her work requirements but eventually terminated her, it said, for poor attendance. She sued, alleging that she had been terminated because of her disability. The Supreme Court rejected her argument that she was substantially limited in the major life activity of performing manual tasks. “When addressing the major life activity of performing manual tasks,” the court stated, “the central inquiry must be whether the claimant is unable to perform the variety of tasks central to most people’s daily lives, not whether the claimant is unable to perform the tasks associated with her specific job.” Limitations on the employee’s ability to perform specific aspects of one job did not meet this test. The Court expressly did not consider the activity of working, an activity it distinguished from performing manual tasks. The court holds that Leal did not adduce any evidence to support her claim that her impairment substantially limited her ability to work. OPINION:Per curiam.

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