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Disability Discrimination Essay

1537 words - 7 pages

The respondent, Williams, began working at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing plant in Georgetown Kentucky in August of 1990. She was placed on the engine fabrication assembly line, where her duties consisted of work with pneumatic tools on the manufacturing line. She began to develop pain in her hands, wrists, and arms which she contributed to working with the pneumatic tools. She sought treatment at Toyota’s in-house medical service, and was diagnosed with bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome and bilateral tendinitis. Her personal physician placed her under permanent work restriction that prohibited her from frequently lifting or carrying objects weighing up to ten pounds. Over the next two years ...view middle of the document...

Both parties agreed that Williams was physically capable of performing these duties at a satisfactory level. By 1996, Toyota Motor Manufacturing wanted QCIO employees to perform all four tasks. Williams received all the necessary training she needed for her new duties which include applying highlight oil on the hood, fender, doors, rear quarter panel, and trunk of cars on the conveyor belt at a rate of one car per minute. After rubbing down each car with oil members are required to visually inspect cars for flaws. These new requirements for QCIO members obligated Williams to hold her hands and arms up at shoulder height for several hours at a time. Not long after the implementation of these new requirements Williams experienced pain in her neck and shoulders. Once again she pursued medical attention at Toyota’s in-house medical service where she was diagnosed with an inflammation of muscles and tendons, which is known as myotendinitis bilateral penscapular in her shoulder blades; myotendinitis causing median nerve irritation; and thoracic outlet compression which causes pain in the nerves that lead to upper extremities. After the diagnoses Williams demanded Toyota allow her to go back to her original two jobs within QCIO. She claimed that she could still perform those tasks without difficulty.
It is at this point the parties disagree over what happen next. Williams claims Toyota Motor Manufacturing refused her request and forced her to continue to work in all areas of QCIO, causing her greater injuries. On the other hand, Toyota Motor Manufacturing claimed respondent started to miss work regularly. The only facts that are clear is that December 6, 1996 was the last day Williams worked. Also on that day Williams was placed under a no-work-of-any-kind restriction by a treating physician. On January 27, 1997 Williams received her termination letter from Toyota Motor Manufacturing, noting her lack of attendance. After receiving her termination letter Williams filed a charge of disability discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The law suit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Her protest against Toyota Motor Manufacturing was that they violated the ADA and the Kentucky Civil Rights Act. It claimed that under the ADA Williams was “disabled”. It stated that her physical impairments noticeably limit her in manual tasks, housework, gardening, playing with her children, lifting, and working. She argued these impairments limited her from major life activities under the Act. Toyota Motor Manufacturing filed a motion for summary judgment and Williams filed a motion for partial summary judgment on her disability claim. The court ruled that Williams was not disabled as defined by the ADA. The district court agreed that Williams did suffered physical injuries, but these injuries did not meet the level of a disability because she was not substantially limited in any major life activity. ...

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