Third Circuit Employment Law 101: ADA Defenses – Direct Threat

Can an employer terminate a disabled employee because accommodating the employee would create a significant risk of substantial harm to the employee or others in the workplace?

Yes. This is called the “direct threat” defense. To meet its burden, however, the employer must prove the following two elements by a preponderance of the evidence:

  1. The employer fired the employee because the employee posed a direct threat to the health or safety of the employee or others in the workplace.
  2. This direct threat could not be eliminated by providing a
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