New 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision
On December 18, 2006, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal appeals court for western states including Washington, issued its decision in the case of Walsh v. Nevada Department of Humans Resources. In that case it held that, under the federal law prohibiting disability discrimination, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), individual managers could not be held personally liable for disability discrimination.
Although this is good news for managers working for Washington employers, employers should keep in mind that if they are large enough to be required to comply with the ADA, they also have to comply with the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD). The Walsh decision does not overrule the decision ofBrown v. Scott Paper Worldwide, in which the Washington Supreme Court held that managers and supervisors can be held individually liable under the WLAD.