10/06/2008 10:27:30 AM EST
Kerri N. Harper on California Supreme Court's Decision on Disability Discrimination: Green v. State of California
Before the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District decided Green v. State of
California (Green I), the law had been well-settled that plaintiffs carry the burden of proof on the essential elements of claims they assert in litigation. The Green I court decided otherwise, splitting
California authority on the issue of who must prove in disability discrimination cases that the employee is qualified to perform the essential functions of the job.
The California Supreme Court in Green v. State of
California (Green II) reversed the Green I court and reinforced standing law: this burden rests with plaintiffs. Kerri N. Harper, an associate in the San Francisco office of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP, analyzes this important decision, outlines the practical implications in the workplace and in litigation, and provides a checklist of some of the issues employers and employees should explore when addressing requests for reasonable accommodation.
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