Murray v. Mayo Clinic, No. 17-16803 (9th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment for the Mayo Clinic in an action alleging employment discrimination under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In light of Supreme Court precedent, the panel held that its decision in Head v. Glacier Northwest, Inc., 413 F.3d 1053 (9th Cir. 2005), holding ADA discrimination claims are evaluated under a motivating factor causation standard, is no longer good law. The panel held that Head was irreconcilable with the Supreme Court's decisions in Gross v. FBL Fin. Servs., Inc., 557 U.S. 167 (2009), and Univ. of Texas Southwestern Med. Ctr. v. Nassar, 570 U.S. 338 (2013). The panel agreed with its sister circuits and held that an ADA discrimination plaintiff bringing a claim under 42 U.S.C. 2112 must show that the adverse employment action would not have occurred but for the disability. Therefore, the district court correctly instructed the jury to apply a but for causation standard, rather than a motivating factor standard.