Seventh Circuit: Title II of Americans with Disabilities Act Does Not Reach Employment Discrimination

Does Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act apply to employment-related discrimination claims, even though Title I of the Act specifically addresses such claims?

Answering this “question of first impression” in the circuit, in Brumfield v. City of Chicago, No. 11-2265 (Nov. 6, 2013), the Seventh Circuit today joined the Ninth and Tenth Circuits in concluding that Title II does not extend to employment-discrimination claims. Such claims must be brought under Title I.

The court determined that because, read in context, Title II unambiguously does not reach employment-discrimination claims, the court need not defer to the Attorney General’s rule to the contrary.  The court acknowledged that the Eleventh Circuit has reached the opposite conclusion, but the court found that circuit’s analysis unpersuasive.