Hostile Environments, Title Vii, and the Ada: The Limits of the Copy and Paste Function
64 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2008
Two federal circuits, borrowing from Title VII jurisprudence, recently recognized a cause of action for a disability-based hostile environment under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Neither opinion, however, considered how the analysis of a disability-based hostile environment claim under the ADA might differ from that of a race- or sex-based hostile environment claim under Title VII. This Article examines the differing theories of equality underlying the two statutes and argues that, because the statutes prohibit discrimination in fundamentally different ways, courts must resist the temptation to copy and paste Title VII doctrine into ADA hostile environment opinions. This Article instead suggests an analysis of ADA hostile environment actions that is consistent with the specific combination of theories underlying that statute.
Keywords: ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act, Labor, Employment, Title VII, Discrimination
JEL Classification: K00, K31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation