Disability Discrimination and Parker v. Metropolitan Life: Separate, but Equal?
B. W. Wall,
Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
26(1): 117-121, 1998.
In August 1997, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that disability
insurance obtained as an employment benefit is not a "physical place" protected by Title III of the
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The majority held that because benefits were obtained from
an employer instead of from an insurance office, the insurance plan's disparity between mental health
benefits and benefits for physical disabilities did not constitute "discrimination" as defined by Title
I of the ADA. Other circuit courts have held that illness-specific discrimination in disability
insurance coverage is indeed prohibited under Title III. The conflict between the circuit courts may
ultimately work its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.