George v Mcdonough - Case Summary

University / Undergraduate
Modified: 22nd Feb 2024
Wordcount: 395 words


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Legal Case Summary

Summary: Discrimination case where a VA hospital employee alleged violation of the Rehabilitation Act.


Jermaine George, an employee at the Boston Veterans Affairs Hospital, sued Patricia Mcdonough, the Hospital Director, and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. George alleged that he was discriminated against due to his disabilities and race.


Key issues in the case involved whether George had been a victim of unlawful disability and race discrimination, and if he had faced retaliation as a result of his complaints. The genuineness of George's disabilities also came into question.


This case reaffirms the legal standards used to evaluate disability discrimination allegations under the Rehabilitation Act, adding to a body of precedents that takes a strict interpretation of the requirement that a claimant must be 'disabled'. Moreover, it highlights the challenges of proving racial discrimination and retaliation in the employment context.


The court ruled in favour of the defendant, McDonough. The presiding judge, Judge Young, stated that George failed to demonstrate that he was disabled under the definitions presented by the Rehabilitation Act. The defendant had provided valid non-discriminatory reasons for any adverse employment actions.


  • George v. McDonough, No. 06-10895, U.S. Dist. (D. Mass. 2009)
  • The Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 1964

Journalist Brief

In a nutshell, Jermaine George, an employee at the Boston VA hospital, claimed he was discriminated and retaliated against due to his disabilities and race. The court, however, ruled in favour of his employer, stating George did not meet the Act’s definition of 'disabled', and the employer had other valid reasons for their decisions.


Was George's claim of discriminaiton acknowledged by the court?

Answer: No, the court did not acknowledge George's claim of discrimination.

Why did the court rule in favor of the employer?

Answer: The court ruled in favor of the employer as George could not adequately show he was 'disabled', and the employer had valid reasons for the employment actions.

What laws were relevant to this case?

Answer: The significant laws in this case were Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

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