In an effort to integrate individuals with disabilities into society and abate employment discrimination, Congress passed the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Act). While the Act more clearly applied to certain individuals with disabilities, the Act's construction seemingly left undefined whether individuals with contagious diseases were afforded the same coverage. The case giving rise to the Supreme Court's landmark employment law decision resolving the matter was the unreported, oral opinion of Arline v. School Board of Nassau County, which was decided in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. This Comment examines the district court's opinion, comparing the holding to similar decisions interpreting the Act, and illuminates how Arline resulted in the Supreme Court articulating the transformative "direct threat" defense test, which was adopted by Congress and codified in both the Rehabilitation Act and its counterpart, the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Flamming, Patrick D.
"Otherwise Qualified: The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Origin of the Direct Threat Defense,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 92:
2, Article 16.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol92/iss2/16