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Case Discussion Horgan v. Simmons

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Horgan, who was an employee of Morgan services for a period of ten years, sued Simmons, his boss, for terminating his employment. The basis of his job discontinuation was that, Simmons learnt that Horgan’s was HIV positive. Simmons wrongfully considered him to be unfit to work in the company because of his status and decided to fire him. Horgan, in turn, sued Simmons claiming that he was fired because of his status. He also claimed that, by terminating his employment with the company, Simmons had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.  

The case ruled to Horgan’s favor. Judge Castillo said that ADAAA had clarified that the inference of vital bodily functions which included immune systems functions, were a part of key life activities (Gutman, 2010). This was under the first definition of disability by the ADA. Castillo also supported his ruling by citing that itwas consistent with the proposed EEOCs regulations. The regulations set to implement ADAAA which shortlists HIV to be a form of impairment.  

A court argues that a person has a disability in three cases. He has a physical or mental disability that impedes vital activities in the life of a person. If there is a record of such impairment evidenced from different cases. Lastly, he is regarded to have a certain condition or impairment. Horgan would not have been able to argue his case if the court had not found any physical disability on him. For him to succeed under ADA act, he had to prove he was disabled (Horgan v. Simmons, 704 F. Supp. 2d 814 (N.D. Ill. 2010).pdf, 2010). He could perform various functions in work with any assistance or accommodation. Lastly, because of his disability, he faced an extreme employment action.

Simmons, consistently questioning the Horgan was termeed illegal. This is because Simmons continued questioning him about his problem although he claimed that he was alright. Horgan repeatedly told Simmons that his problem did not affect his performance in the company. However, Simmons pressured him until he confessed to having worked in the company for ten years with a HIV+ status (Leonard, 2010). He explained to Simmons that his condition did not affect his roles in any way. There is no way the employer can sufficiently defend his actions since one answer from the plaintiff was sufficient. However, he kept pushing for more answers.

The employer’s cause of action might have been driven by fear of poor performance, given that Horgan had been promoted to a senior position. He might have had doubts as to whether Horgan’s status would interfere with his performance level at work. His concerns were justifiable as he probably wanted the best for his company.

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