Factory Worker who Couldn't Wear Safety Shoes Wasn't a Qualified Individual under the ADA

July 17, 2019

A factory worker who was terminated due to her medically documented inability to wear protective footwear because of her diabetes and feet deformities failed to defeat summary judgment on her disability bias and failure-to-accommodate claims since she was undisputedly not a qualified individual under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A federal court in Virginia held that the employer—whose attempts to help her find acceptable protective footwear had proved unsuccessful—had legitimate business reasons for requiring her to wear safety shoes since exempting her from the requirement could have jeopardized its certification and if she suffered a foot injury it could be subjected to lost production time and increased workers' compensation costs.