Hirmiz v. New Harrison Hotel Corp., No. 16-3915 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Hirmiz, a Travelodge Hotel front‐desk clerk, was fired after being caught on video sleeping in the lobby while a fight broke out among guests. He sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12101, claiming that his employer had failed to accommodate a condition caused by long‐term exposure to high levels of electromagnetic voltage at the hotel; had discriminated against him because of his disorder; and had fired him in retaliation for his having complained about the hotel’s voltage levels to OSHA. OSHA found the electromagnetic voltage levels to be normal. The Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of the hotel. Hirmiz failed to present evidence that he is disabled for purposes of the ADA, that he engaged in any protected activity before his termination, or that his OSHA complaint played any role in his termination. The court noted debate in the medical community over whether sensitivity to electromagnetic voltage is a physical disorder or a psychological one and that Hirmiz did not try to prove that he has a “record” of an impairment or that he was “regarded as having” one by his employer. Hirmiz neither sought an accommodation, nor filed his EEOC discrimination charge before he was fired.