“Are Compensatory Damages Available for ADA Retaliation Claims?”
Is a plaintiff who alleges retaliation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) entitled to recover compensatory damages even though the Civil Rights Act of 1991 (Section 1981a) does not specifically mention the ADA’s retaliation provision?
The circuit and district courts that have weighed in on this issue are split. A slight majority of courts, including the Seventh Circuit in Kramer v. Banc of Am. Sec., LLC, have found that Congress’s failure to specifically reference the anti-retaliation provision of the ADA, Section 12203, within Section 1981a (unlike other statutory claims, which Congress did specifically reference), indicates that compensatory damages are not available for ADA retaliation claims. Three district courts within the Sixth Circuit are aligned with Kramer, but the Sixth Circuit has yet to rule on the issue. The Eastern District of New York is split even within the district.