Nunies v. HIE Holdings, Inc., 2018 WL 5660625 (9th Cir. 2018)

Herman Nunies was a delivery driver for HIE Holdings who injured his shoulder and wanted to transfer to a part-time, less-physical warehouse job. The requested transfer was approved and was set to go through until Nunies told HIE about his shoulder injury after which the company allegedly rejected his transfer request and forced him to resign. Nunies sued for disability discrimination under the ADA and state law; the district court granted HIE’s motion for summary judgment. The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court’s judgment, holding that Nunies established that he may have been “regarded as” having a disability because he had an actual or perceived physical impairment whether or not the impairment limited or was perceived to limit a major life activity. The district court erroneously held that Nunies was required to prove that his employer subjectively believed that he was substantially limited in a major life activity (the superseded definition). The district court also erroneously dismissed Nunies’ claim for disability discrimination based upon an actual disability because he did identify two major life activities (working and lifting) that were affected by his impairment.