How can there be two different analyses from the Tenth and then the Seventh/Eighth Districts?
The difference in analyses is because the ADA does not specifically provide whether for a person with a disability who is to be reassigned to a job which he is qualified should be the best for the vacant position. Instead, ADA only states that the worker should be eligible for the position. It thus leaves the interpretation to the involved parties. The ADA categorically recommends reassignment of a position an employee is eligible as being a type of logical accommodation available to qualified persons with disabilities. It provides that reassignment has to be provided to employees who cannot perform the necessary functions of their present position anymore, without or with accommodation, due to their disabilities. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission developed the rules ADA’s employment conditions and has demonstrated that the worker has to be eligible for an equal, vacant job, but he does not have to the best. However, some companies have a policy of giving equal opportunities to candidates and employing the most eligible.
Two United States Circuit Courts of Appeals, the District of Columbia and the Tenth, argued that in factual parallel situations, ADA necessitates the employer should move an employee to an equal vacant position. Other circuits, the Seventh and Eighth argued that ADA does not require relocation, but it only necessitates employers to allow the disabled worker to contend with other candidates for the position.
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Is there a situation where both parties can benefit from these decisions?
The situation in which both parties can benefit from these decisions is if the court would have to consider the forms of claims that would make an employer hire someone else on the basis of being more qualified. The employee will be given the vacant position but will have to prove he or she is the best candidate. The employer should have a proven, stated policy, or have shown the practice of employing the best candidate for the job position. The qualifications stated for the position should as much as possible match the actual duties of the job. The stated qualifications should emphasize more objective criteria, such as experience, and education, while the subjective factors, like a positive attitude although relevant, should be subordinate to the objective criteria. The employer should also identify, document, and present the specific reasons the candidate chosen is more qualified than the other, mainly if it is not apparent based on the objective standards. That would eliminate any doubts that the employer did not discriminate the disabled candidate by favoring the other candidate. It would also prove that the employer did not change the employment policy so as to deny the disabled candidate a chance.
How does this set precedent for future cases?
This will set an example for future cases because it confirms the standards that an employer may employ the most qualified candidate for the vacant position with or without a disability. However, he will have to prove to the court or have proof that he followed the required protocol to determine that the hired candidate is the most qualified. In that case, the company cannot discriminate against the person with disability. That will help to resolve the issue between the two-existing analysis of the ADA requirement.