Long-time custodian with bad back says he can't use ladder and requests accommodation from school district employer; denied as essential function of job. He was later terminated.
Workplace Justice Advocates, PLC by Tamara Freeze, Robert Odell, and Angeline Kwik, Irvine.
Colegate & Thompson LLP by Mike Marlatt, Riverside.
Plaintiff Joseph Snead worked as a custodian for the Chino Valley Unified School District for 16 years at an elementary school. In 2010 he sustained a back injury which prevented him from using ladders at work. He claimed that the use of the ladder was very rare and requested various accommodations for his back injury. The District did not propose any accommodations and claimed that the use of the ladder was an essential job function of a custodian. The District also claimed that plaintiff's proposed accommodations would have caused an undue burden on the District and fired plaintiff on April 6, 2010.
That the use of the ladder was not an essential function of the job as it was very rare and could have been accommodated by various means, such as by using an extension pole instead for his cleaning duties or swapping duties with other custodians. That he suffered lost wages and emotional harm.
That the use of the ladder was an essential job function of a custodian. The District also claimed that Mr. Snead's proposed accommodations would have caused an undue burden on the District.