A federal appeals court has reinstated disputes for Americans with disabilities filed by a dismissed auto parts manager suffering from Tourette's syndrome and citing incorrect instructions given by the judge to the jury, who continued to speak against the former employee.  The district court erred when instructing the jury that for a disabled employee to successfully establish a claim that he does not have access to, he must prove that he needed housing to perform essential functions of his job, said the 1st American District Court in Boston Brian Bell v. O & # 39; Reilly Auto Enterprises LLC, d / b / a / O & # 39; Reilly Auto Parts.
Mr. Bell lives with Tourette's syndrome as well as attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder and major depression, according to the decision. He is taking medication but still experiences motor tics that are often accompanied by a slight verbal noise, and he cannot concentrate easily, the decision said.
Despite these symptoms, Mr. Bell a position at Springfield, Missouri-based O & # 39; Reilly Auto Parts to manage its Belfast, Maine, store. He worked for months in this role without incident, putting in more than 50 hours a week and 1
After losing two shift leaders, he started working almost 100 hours a week and 15 hours days said the decision. His symptoms became more severe and his motor bitch more frequent and more painful.
O & # 39; Reilly denied Mr. Bell requested residents that he be scheduled for no more than 45 hours a week and finally terminated him.
in the U.S. District Court in Portland, Maine, who charged with violations of the ADA and state law, which led to the jury's verdict against him.
Giving them their "most natural reading", the judge's instructions in the case "required an employee to show that he could not perform the essential functions of his job without housing, the unanimous three-judge said appealed the court's decision.  But "an employee who with some difficulty can perform the essential functions of his job without housing remains entitled to request and obtain a reasonable accommodation," the decision said.
In order to fail to meet claims, a complainant only needs to show that he is disabled in the ADA's sense; he is still authorized to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation; and the employer knew about the disability but refused to satisfy it reasonably on request, the decision said.
"By instructing the jury to an employee must show that he needed housing to perform the essential functions of his job, the district court restricted O & # 39; Reilly poten wrongful liability, ”said the decision, leading to the court's ruling and forwarding the case for a new trial.
In response to a request for comment, one of Mr. Bell's attorneys, Allen K. Townsend, of the Portland-based Maine Employee Rights Group, pointed to a statement from the organization that said: "This case is not just important for Mr. Bell, it's important for the rights of all disabled workers.
“The decision of the First Circuit clarifies that employers may not refuse to provide affordable housing to employees who are struggling through pain or stress to perform their jobs. If affordable housing would alleviate this pain or stress, an employer must provide these housing to disabled employees.
O'Reilly's lawyer had no comment.