Memorandum of Law (Analysis) – [Company Violates ADA]
Trump Industries, Inc. a large national company with approximately 1,000 employees, recently decided to charge its employees who smoke an additional $350 per month for health insurance.
This represents 70% of the smoker’s total health care costs.
The company asserts this decision was based both on the company’s desire to control spiraling health care costs and to promote a healthy lifestyle for its employees. The company has not implemented any on site wellness programs for its employees.
The surcharge of $350 per month reflects the cost to the company of the increased health care costs attributable to smoking. One employee, our client, Mr. Weekend Taylor, objected to the new policy and (after bringing a charge against the company with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, which rejected the charge) sued the company, alleging,
1) that the new policy violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and/or
2) that the new policy unfairly discriminates against him because he suffers from an “impairment and/or
3) that the new policy violates his Constitutional right to equal protection under the V and XIV amendments.
In other words:
Mr. Taylor’s lawsuit alleges that the new policy violates the American with Disabilities Act because his addiction to smoking or nicotine should be classified as an addiction within the meaning of the Act.
Further, Mr. Taylor alleges he is addicted to smoking (nicotine) and therefore suffers from impairment and should not be targeted by his employer.
Finally, Mr. Taylor alleges that smokers are discriminated against and therefore are a protected or pseudo-protected class of citizens’ worthy of constitutional protection.
Trump Industries’ simple response is that Mr. Taylor is not protected under the American with Disabilities Act and its policy is not discriminatory.
prepare a 6-7page Memorandum of Law (Analysis/Discussion) that will persuade the United States District Court for the Anywhere District that the company’s policy violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and/or violates Mr. Taylor’s rights such that he should not be subject to the surcharge. There are no statutes in New York State protecting smokers from employment discrimination.