Richardson v. Friendly Ice Cream Corp.

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In Brief

The First Circuit Court of Appeals determined that the essential job functions of an employee’s position are not limited to the core duties and tasks, and therefore a restaurant manager’s duties include more than simply overseeing staff.

What Happened in Court

Interpreting the ADA’s language on what constitutes “essential functions” of an employee’s position, the First Circuit Court of Appeals determines that a restaurant’s assistant manager position was not just limited to top-line duties such as management, overseeing, and scheduling. The “essential functions” also included assistance in kitchen, facilitating food preparation, customer service, and other manual functions. Thus, an assistant manager’s shoulder problems disqualified him for the position where there were insufficient employees among whom the manual tasks at the restaurant could be distributed.