Abelstein v. Veneman, 2009 WL 1209236 (D.N.J., May 4, 2009) – The plaintiff alleged that he was terminated in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) because his employer regarded him as suffering from a “general mental disability.” Although the plaintiff had been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder and depression, he explicitly stated that he was not relying upon those conditions as the perceived disability. Instead, he argued that his co-workers and one or more decision-makers regarded him as “crazy.”
The court dismissed the plaintiff’s ADA claim, noting that the plaintiff failed to present any evidence that the employer questioned his ability to perform functions such as walking, seeing, speaking, breathing, working, etc. Because the employer entrusted the plaintiff with responsibilities consistent with his job description, expected him to carry out his job duties and consistently gave him satisfactory evaluations, the court held that the employer did not perceive him to be disabled.
Note: This article was published in the June 2009 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.