817 F.2d 34 (7th Cir. 1987), 86-2435, Foss v. City of Chicago

Docket Nº:86-2435.
Citation:817 F.2d 34
Party Name:Richard FOSS, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. CITY OF CHICAGO, a municipal corporation, Louis Galante, City of Chicago Fire Commissioner, and Charles Pounian, Commissioner of Personnel, Defendants- Appellees.
Case Date:April 20, 1987
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
 
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817 F.2d 34 (7th Cir. 1987)

Richard FOSS, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

CITY OF CHICAGO, a municipal corporation, Louis Galante,

City of Chicago Fire Commissioner, and Charles

Pounian, Commissioner of Personnel,

Defendants- Appellees.

No. 86-2435.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

April 20, 1987

Argued Feb. 23, 1987.

Miriam N. Geraghty, Kinoy, Taren, Geraghty & Potter, P.C., Chicago, Ill., for plaintiff-appellant.

Lynn K. Mitchell, Asst. Corp. Counsel, Chicago, Ill. (Judson H. Miner, Acting Corp. Counsel), for defendants-appellees.

Before BAUER, Chief Judge, and CUMMINGS and EASTERBROOK, Circuit Judges.

CUMMINGS, Circuit Judge.

The plaintiff was a Chicago firefighter until 1985 when the City terminated his employment after he suffered a loss of consciousness on the job. He subsequently brought suit in federal court alleging that his termination was in violation of Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. Sec. 794, and the nondiscrimination provisions of the State and Local Fiscal Assistance Act, 31 U.S.C. Sec. 6716. The district court dismissed the plaintiff's complaint because the alleged discrimination was not related to a program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. 640 F.Supp. 1088. The plaintiff appeals this decision but challenges only whether the district court properly dismissed his claims under Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Section 504, 29 U.S.C. Sec. 794, provides in part:

No otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the United States ... shall, solely by reason of his handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance....

Section 504 is by its terms program-specific. It proscribes discrimination only with respect to "programs" or "activities" receiving

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federal financial assistance. United States Department of Transportation v. Paralyzed Veterans of America, --- U.S. ----, 106 S.Ct. 2705, 2710-2711, 91 L.Ed.2d 494; Consolidated Rail Corp. v. Darrone, 465 U.S. 624, 635-636, 104 S.Ct. 1248, 1255, 79 L.Ed.2d 568. The district court carefully analyzed the types of federal funds received by the City of Chicago and the Chicago Fire Department and concluded that neither entity could be characterized as a "program or activity" for purposes of Sec. 504, and that the plaintiff's employment had no connection with any of the more narrowly defined programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.

We can add little to Judge Moran's excellent opinion and therefore adopt it as our own. We write separately only to comment on the treatment of non-earmarked federal grants under the Rehabilitation Act. The Supreme Court by its own admission has provided little guidance as to the proper definition of a "program or activity receiving federal financial assistance," Darrone, 465 U.S. at 635-636, 104 S.Ct. at 1255, other than to suggest that the relevant...

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