Copyright (c) 2004 Drake University
Drake Law Review
NOTE: THE ADA GETS EVEN MORE COMPLICATED: ANALYZING PREGNANCY WITH COMPLICATIONS AS A DISABILITY
52 Drake L. Rev. 471
Amanda G. Wachuta*
The federal courts are currently split on how to analyze the issue of whether pregnancy with complications constitutes a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act 1 (ADA). Although it is well settled that pregnancy per se is not a disability under the ADA, 2 some federal courts have held that pregnancy with complications can predicate a claim of disability discrimination. 3 Conversely, other federal courts have disallowed such complications to form the basis of an ADA claim. 4
Because so many ADA claims are disposed of at the summary judgment stage, 5 and the determination of whether pregnancy-related complications constitute a disability can make all the difference in granting or denying summary judgment, 6 it is important that the federal courts develop a consistent approach to dealing with this issue. This Note advocates the approach of distinguishing between conditions that are part of a normal pregnancy and complications of pregnancy that are either outside the normal range or are attributable to a physiological disorder, with the latter forming a basis for an ADA claim.
Part II of this Note briefly outlines the history and coverage of the ADA. Part III examines the statutory definition of "disability" and the EEOC regulations that flesh out that definition. Part IV discusses the exclusion of pregnancy per se from the ADA's coverage. Finally, Part V surveys the case law, identifies the grounds on which federal courts are denying ADA protection for pregnancy with complications, and ...
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