Equality has traditionally been an important issue in many different aspects of American life, and Congress created various laws to ensure that this equality is preserved. One of these laws is the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The ADA was created to ensure that those with disabilities would be treated equally in aspects of both public services and accommodations, as well as in the employment sector. Among its many provisions, the ADA serves to protect employees from being discharged from their positions in "retaliation" for opposing practices by the employer that would have also been unlawful under the Act. While the U.S. Circuit Courts have agreed on the application of this "retaliatory provision," they have not agreed on what specific remedies are available to plaintiffs bringing such claims. Congress' statutory construction with regard to remedies has proved to confound courts across the country. As a result, a circuit split has emerged on the availability of compensatory and punitive damages when employers violate the retaliatory provisions of the ADA. In effect, this split has placed employees on unequal footing based on the circuit they currently reside in and the statutory interpretation it utilizes. Part II of this article will outline the basic provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, focusing on claims of employment discrimination and the retaliation provision. Part III will briefly outline the remedy structure of the retaliation provision, noting which statutory sections must be considered when deciding what remedies are appropriate. Then, Part IV will discuss the relevant case law and recent developments on the two different positions taken by various circuit courts with respect to the availability of compensatory and punitive damages as a result of a violation of the retaliatory provision. Finally, Part V will evaluate these two major approaches and lay out the reasons why the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress need to ultimately intervene and resolve the current circuit court split. Ultimately, this resolution will avoid the injustice that results when one employee is able to recover more on his retaliation claim than another based simply on the circuit in which he resides.

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