NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Survey Shows Employers Win Most ADA Title I Cases

June 23, 2000

It is becoming more difficult for employees alleging employment discrimination to prevail in cases brought under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act. According to a report in the May-June 2000 issue of the American Bar Association's Mental and Physical Disability Law Reporter on the third annual survey of ADA cases:

  • Employers prevail more than 95 percent of the time in ADA suits.
  • Employers prevail in 85 percent of the administrative complaints handled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • And the numbers of cases won by employees has declined, from 8.4 percent in 1992-97 to 5.6 percent in 1998 and 4.3 percent in 1999.

According to John Parry, director of the ABA Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law, one explanation for this outcome is that "procedural and technical requirements in the ADA create difficult obstacles for plaintiffs to overcome. In particular, plaintiffs in Title I cases must meet the ADA's restrictive definition of disability -- a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity -- and still be qualified to perform essential job functions with or without employer-provided reasonable accommodations."


Browse more articles on Economic Issues