Swine flu as an ADA disability? What would Ozzy and Sharon say?

“Oy, Sharon! Will you help me out here?”

“Come on, Ozzy! Yellow in the front, brown in —.”

“Bloody hell, Sharon! I’m trying to comprehend this federal court decision from the District of Minnesota.”

“Was that the one Judge Schiltz authored?”

“Aye, Sharon.”

“So, here’s what I don’t get. This fella goes to Mexico a few years ago, comes back to the States, and his employer fires him because the company “thinks” he has swine flu. Is that legal? Wouldn’t that violate the Americans with Disabilities Act?”

“All that to-do over swine flu was bollocks, Ozzy. Pure rubbish. Turned out to be just a transitory illness; short in duration. That wouldn’t qualify as a disability under the ADA.”

“What about ‘regarded as’ disabled? Under the “regarded as” prong, a plaintiff need only prove that he was regarded as having an impairment; he need not prove that the impairment (if he had it) would have limited a major life activity. So, if the company thought this bloke was really sick, isn’t that still disability discrimination?”

“No Ozzy. An employee is not ‘regarded as’ disabled if the impairment that he is regarded as having is both “transitory and minor.'”

“Yeah. Not like that time I bit the head off that bat in ’82 at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa. I got rabies shots for biting the head off a bat but that`s OK – the bat had to get Ozzy shots.”

“Rabies isn’t transitory, Ozzy. That, and Warner Brothers knew that you don’t f**k with the ‘Prince of Darkness.'”

“Aye, Sharon. Aye.”

[Note: They never really said this. Well, except the part about the Ozzy shots. That’s true.]

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