Board of Trustees, University of Alabama v. Garrett

Board of Trustees, University of Alabama v. Garrett (2001) 531 U.S. 356, teaches that the only potential source of congressional power to extend anti-discrimination legislation to the States rests on Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. And authority under Section 5 "is appropriately exercised only in response to state transgressions" id. at 964, requiring a "pattern of unconstitutional discrimination" Because the Trustees v. Garrett majority held that ADA's legislative findings lacked the required reference to such a pattern of employment discrimination on the part of States, it concluded that it would not be proper to enforce against the States "the rights and remedies created by the ADA". And in that regard the Courtmajority expressly adverted to the statutory "reasonable accommodation" requirement: For example, whereas it would be entirely rational and therefore constitutional for a state employer to conserve scarce financial resources by hiring employees who are able to use existing facilities, the ADA requires employers to "make existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities." (42 U.S.C. 12112 5B, 121119). The ADA does except employers from the "reasonable accommodation" requirement where the employer "can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business of such covered entity." 12112b5A. However, even with this exception, the accommodation duty far exceeds what is constitutionally required in that it makes unlawful a range of alternate responses that would be reasonable but would fall short of imposing an "undue burden" upon the employer. The Act also makes it the employer's duty to prove that it would suffer such a burden, instead of requiring as the Constitution does that the complaining party negate reasonable bases for the employer's decision.