Manuel works for CableCast. He has worked there for 15 years as a cable installer. Typically his job involves running cable in tight spaces to help customers put televisions in the best viewing locations in their homes. He does great work and customers always comment that he is friendly and conscientious.
Over the past few years, Manuel began putting on weight and is now over 300 pounds. He is having a hard time keeping up with the demands of his customers, and can no longer crawl through basement or attic spaces to run his wires. His past few high-end customers said that he “cut corners” and left wire hanging invisible, dangerous places, instead of running the cable under the flooring as he should have. He is twice warned by CableCast about these negative reviews.
Manuel has continued to put on weight and is now nearly 400lbs. After the third lousy review, Manuel requests a job that is less physically demanding. CableCast puts him in the front office, answering phones and setting up appointments. After a few months, Manuel is miserable. He is uncomfortable sitting in the chair all day and he has developed severe muscle spasms. Despite his expertise at the company, he has trouble managing the computer scheduling system and many customers have called to complain that technicians have missed their appointment due to Manuel’s double booking.
Manuel’s weight has become a substantial problem in his everyday life as well. He can no longer bathe nor dress himself and he has hired a full-time nurse to help him at home.
Cablecast warns Manuel that they are going to give him one more chance, but after several more harsh complaints, Manuel is terminated.
Manuel believes he was fired due to his obesity. Manuel filed a complaint with the EEOC claiming he was discriminated against in violation of the ADA. You work as an attorney for CableCast. Please draft a memo explaining the background facts, explain how the office attempted to accommodate Manuel, and include valid defenses to Manuel’s claim.
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