Bloom v. Bexar County, Texas

A nonsmoking court reporter was hired by Judge Andy Mireles in 1989.  Although city and county ordinances banned smoking in the courthouse facility, Judge Mireles permitted smoking in his chambers and offices, over which the county had no control.  Bloom began to experience health problems and requested a transfer to avoid working in the old courthouse.  After the transfer was denied, she resigned her position.  She filed suit in federal court, alleging that the county had discriminated against her in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1991.  She alleged that the failure to accommodate her disability and failure to enforce the anti-smoking ordinances constituted a constructive discharge which amounted to discrimination.  The district court granted the county’s motion for summary judgment.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court’s summary judgment.  “Regardless of whether Bloom was disabled, the district court properly granted summary judgment because Bexar County was not Bloom’s employer for ADA Title I purposes,” noting that the county did not have control or authority over her conditions of employment.  Furthermore, “ADA Title III expressly does not apply to public entities, including local governments.”

130 F.3d 722, 1997 U.S. App. LEXIS 35683 (5th Cir. 1997).