HR Strange But True!
December 13, 2001

Among the cases that got as far as the U.S. Supreme Court in 2001 was an Illinois man's claim that he deserved protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act because he can only have sex twice a month.

The court discreetly refused to hear the appeal brought by Antonio Contreras, who said he'd been having sex about five times a week until his 1995 injury at the garden-equipment plant where he worked as a forklift operator. Suncast Corp. of Batavia, Ill., fired Contreras a year after the accident, citing work violations.

Contreras sued, accusing Suncast of violating his rights under ADA; the injuries, he said, had left him unable to fully perform (a) as a forklift operator and (b) in the other department. He said Suncast did not fully accommodate his request for lighter work, worsening his disability.

A judge dismissed the claims; the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was also unimpressed.

The appeals court acknowledged earlier rulings that a sexual reproduction is "a major life activity." Under the ADA, someone is defined as disabled if it's demonstrated that he or she cannot perform such an activity. Still, the court said, Contreras had to prove that his employer knew about the disability and that he was qualified for the job. Suncast, it ruled, did not know about the worker's sex life and had grounds to fire him.

Contreras has been ordered to pay about $5,000 of Suncast's bills.

Source: Associated Press

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