2nd Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Disability Discrimination Claim; Employer Lacked Knowledge of Alleged Disability (Chron’s Disease)

In Hinz v. Vill. of Perry, No. 15-2239-CV, 2016 WL 3435265 (2d Cir. June 20, 2016) (Summary Order), the Second Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing his claim thta he was subjected to discrimination based on his alleged disability (Chron’s disease) in violation of Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The court noted that it has “not yet decided whether a hostile work environment claim is cognizable under” the Americans with Disabilities Act.

It nevertheless held:

[E]ven if such a claim is cognizable, Hinz has failed to raise a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether his employer regarded him as disabled. This question turns on the employer’s perception of the employee and is a question of intent, not whether the employee has a disability. Hinz concedes that he never told the Village or any of its employees that he has Crohn’s disease, never requested an accommodation for his disease, and rarely took sick days. And, contrary to Hinz’s arguments, neither his supervisor’s alleged remarks nor the context in which they were made suggests a belief that Hinz was disabled. When asked if the employer ever said anything to Hinz that made [Hinz] believe [the employer] knew [Hinz] had a disability, Hinz stated, “I don’t know.” In short, we agree with the District Court that Hinz cannot show that defendant perceived Hinz to be impaired under 42 U.S.C. § 12102(3)(A).

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