Law Firms

Pepper Hamilton and project lawyer resolve ADA suit over sleep disorder

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A project lawyer and Pepper Hamilton have resolved a suit contending the law firm violated the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The lawyer, Andrew Fischer, had claimed that the law firm failed to accommodate a sleep disorder which made it difficult to arrive at work before 2 p.m. On Feb. 5, Fischer and the law firm filed a joint motion to dismiss the case, the Legal Intelligencer (sub. req.) reports.

A trial was scheduled for this week on the ADA claim after a U.S. District Judge Gerald Pappert of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled last month that jurors should decide whether a normal schedule is an essential job function for a contract lawyer. The judge tossed other claims for discrimination and retaliation.

Pappert said the law firm had tried to accommodate Fischer several times over a six-year period, but Fischer arrived to work later than the agreed-upon time or he didn’t avail himself of the accommodations. His termination was for failing to comply with the accommodations, Pappert said.

Though the law firm’s good faith efforts barred a retaliation claim, they may not be enough to shut down an ADA claim that it failed to provide reasonable accommodation, Pappert said.

Updated to to correct first reference to Gerald Pappert.

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