Case Analysis- Wilson V Phoenix Specialty Manufacturing Company Inc.(513 F.3d 378 4th Cir. 2008)
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Wilson v Phoenix Specialty Manufacturing Company Inc.(513 F.3d 378 4th Cir. 2008)
1.) Stakeholders: The stakeholders of the case are Jimmie Wilson, Phoenix Specialty manufacturing Co Inc., President Hurst, Dr. Bergmann (Neurologist), company Dr.,
2.) Chronology of events-
Jimmy Wilson had been working as a supervisor for Phoenix Specialty Manufacturing Co. Inc. for 10 years when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 1998. A panic attack during a May 2001 meeting alerted his superiors to his condition. The disease also caused him to lose motor control in his right hand. After a leave of absence, Wilson's physician said he was able to continue performing the functions of his job with no restrictions, but a little more than a year later, Wilson was laid off.
Wilson sued, alleging his firing was a pretext for discrimination based on a perception that he was disabled. The District Court found that company management regarded Wilson as disabled when in fact he was not and terminated him as a result of his perceived disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The court rejected the company's contention that Wilson was laid off during a reduction in force necessitated by business conditions.
During the trial, Wilson's attorneys pointed to an e-mail Phoenix's president Robert Hurst sent to an associate stating Wilson "qualifies for ADA designation and we will have to consider accommodations." But when Wilson requested a larger computer screen and help with typing, his requests were denied.
While the court did not rule on the issue of whether the company violated Wilson's ADA rights by failing to provide accommodations, this case shows what employers should not do when trying to determine if an employee is disabled.
In January, the 4th Circuit upheld the decision, adding to a previous standard set by the Supreme Court regarding