Chan v. Sprint Corporation

An employee who is hypersensitive to cigarette smoke sued her employer for violating federal law by not enforcing the company’s smoking policy. At the time of the lawsuit the company prohibited smoking except in designated outdoor areas. However, the employee alleged that people smoked all over the office campus, such as in covered walkways and outside of buildings. The court found that the employee’s claim failed because she was not able to prove that she was disabled under the law. The court found that the employee’s hypersensitivity to cigarette smoke does not substantially limit the major life activities of breathing and seeing because it was not severe enough and she was able to participate in a range of everyday activities outside of work. The court found that even if the employee was disabled, the company reasonably accommodated her disability. The court said that the employee was not entitled to her choice of an accommodation (in this case, enforcement of the smoking policy). Instead, the law only required that the employer provide reasonable allowances in order for her to avoid or minimize her exposure to cigarette smoke. The court noted that the employee had refused a range of accommodations offered by the company, such as allowing her to work from home, suggesting that she schedule all meetings in her building, and offering a campus security vehicle to transport her between buildings. The court also ruled that the employee’s claim of a hostile work environment under the law failed because she was unable to show that she was disabled.


Chan v. Sprint Corp., 351 F.Supp.2d 1197 (D. Kan. 2005).

  • United States
  • Jan 11, 2005
  • U.S. District Court, D. Kansas


Plaintiff Laural L. Chan

Defendant Sprint Corporation

Legislation Cited

Americans with Disabilities Act

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