As cases under the amended Americans with Disabilities Act begin to reach the courts, less emphasis will be placed on whether an employee is “disabled” and a greater emphasis will be placed on the questions of whether an employee is a “qualified individual” under the act and whether an employee could be reasonably accommodated. These issues were at the forefront of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania’s Aug. 16 decision in Reilly v. Upper Darby Township .

Difficulty Walking Up Stairs

According to the court, Shamus Reilly was a 10-year veteran of the Upper Darby police force when, in 2007, his fellow officers noticed that he was having difficulty climbing stairs. When he met with his supervisors in June 2007, he disclosed that he suffered from a slowly progressive neurological condition that caused weakness in his legs. Reilly’s supervisors told him that he was being removed from patrol duty and that he would be placed in an “alternate duty” position in the control room.

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