Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

This is a BETA site. It's an early, in-progress version of an improved If you don't find what you're looking for, return to the main

ADA Policy Brief Series #10: Reasonable Accommodation after Barnett

Download PDF

March 5, 2003


In U.S. Airways, Inc., v. Barnett, the U.S. Supreme Court finally addressed the interaction of job reassignment under the ADA and seniority systems.

This paper will examine the implications of the Barnett decision, especially in light of prior circuit court decisions on reasonable accommodation, and look at how subsequent cases are interpreting Barnett. The paper will then address some of the larger issues raised by the case; what happens when the employment and economic goals of the ADA seem to clash with already established economic priorities and expectations; who has the higher “right” to a job when demand is higher than supply? If-as the legislative history acknowledges-people with disabilities have been economically and socially marginalized for decades, how could a place be made for these millions of previously excluded people without having anyeffect on those who are already within the economic mainstream?

An official website of the National Council on Disability