parts to be considered an individual with a disability.
Plaintiff alleges that his hypertension and depression, indirectly through his medication, substantially limited his ability to breath.
Breathing is unquestionably a major life function. 29 C.F.R. 1630.2(j). It makes no difference whether the major life function is affected directly by a disability or indirectly by the side effects of medication taken for a medical or physical condition. Guice-Mills v. Derwinski, 967 F.2d 794, 797 (2d Cir. 1992)(plaintiff's medication regime interfered with ability to arrive at work on time); Overton v. Reilly, 977 F.2d 1190, 1195 (7th Cir. 1992)(medication caused plaintiff to be drowsy at work). Whether Plaintiff suffered a substantial limitation of breathing in warm confined areas is a question of fact which precludes the Court from granting this motion as long as Plaintiff has presented a modicum of evidence to support its position. Plaintiff's physician submitted a certification stating that Plaintiff's medication produced shortness of breath when exposed to hot and confined areas. The physician's certification and Plaintiff's statements constitute more than a modicum of evidence.
B. Pennsylvania Human Relations Act Claim
Under PHRA, 43 Pa. Cons. Stat, § 951, et seq., an employer may not discharge or otherwise discriminate on the basis of a non-job related handicap or disability. 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 955(a). As Defendants acknowledge, the PHRA definition of "disability" is coextensive with ADA definition. Accordingly, a material issue of fact exists with respect to whether Plaintiff is disabled under PHRA.
C. Employment Application Fraud
Defendants argue that because Plaintiff allegedly omitted any reference to his disability on his employment application he is barred from recovery. This argument has no merit. The only relevant question on the application simply asked whether applicant had any physical limitations that precluded him from performing any work for which he was being considered. Plaintiff checked the box marked "No". The Court is not persuaded that this was answer was false. The question inquired as to physical limitations, not mental ones. Plaintiff states that his primary disability results from a mental impairment. Moreover, Plaintiff alleges that he could perform the essential tasks of the jobs to which he was assigned, general floor helper and corner cutter. He argues only that his disability precluded him from performing tasks unrelated to these positions. The Court cannot find as a matter of law that Plaintiff supplied untruthful answers on his employment application barring recovery.
For the reasons stated above, the Court finds that material issues of fact are disputed, precluding summary judgment. Accordingly, Defendants' motion is DENIED in its entirety. An appropriate Order is attached.
Daniel H. Huyett, 3rd, Judge
Upon consideration of Defendants' motion for summary judgment, Plaintiff's response and for the reasons set forth above, Defendants' motion for summary judgment is DENIED in its entirety.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Daniel H. Huyett, 3rd, Judge