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The Long and Short of Height Discrimination under the ADA

A couple of week ago I wrote about why the ADA likely protects against obesity as a disability (thank you Wall Street Journal Law Blog for the linkage). If the ADA is starting to protect physical characteristics such as weight, what about height? McElmurry v. Arizona Dept. of Agriculture (D. Ariz...

Yes, the Mandatory ADA Interactive Process Means Employers Have to Actually Discuss Potential Accommodations with Employee

Two lawsuits filed in the past 11 days by the EEOC serve as a reminder that the mandatory “interactive process” under the Americans with Disability Act requires the employer to at least discuss whether there is an appropriate reasonable accommodation. There is not, however, any requirement...

EEOC Commissioner Feldblum Provides Answers on Obesity as an ADA Disability

About two years ago, the EEOC sued a Texas company, alleging that the company engaged in disability discrimination, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act , when it fired a 680-pound worker because he was morbidly obese. The EEOC alleged that the employee's immense weight interfered...

Does the ADA Mandate Transfer Preferences for Disabled Employees?

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of speaking at the National Employment Lawyers Association - New Jersey Annual Conference. I must admit that I was a bit leery. While it sounded legitimate enough -- they asked me to speak on a panel addressing accommodation issues under the Americans with Disabilities...

Does HIPAA Apply to Employers?

by Ruth T. Griggs The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, better known as HIPAA, protects the privacy and security of patient health information . A common question from human resource managers has been what is the impact of HIPAA on an employer’s ability to collect employee...

Is Infertility Fertile Grounds for Disability Discrimination Claims?

I’ve written before about employers getting themselves in trouble for pregnancy discrimination for firing employees while undergoing fertility treatments ( here and here ). Last week, the EEOC announced the settlement of case involving a different kind of “infertility” discrimination—the...

Court Reasons That Unreasonably Withdrawing a Reasonable Accommodation Is Reason for Employee to Win ADA Suit

Let's say that you have an employee whom the Americans with Disabilities Act would consider disabled and to whom you have afforded a reasonable accommodation for a long time. Maybe it's a few years of light duty to accommodate your employee's bad back. Maybe it's keeping your employee...

A Post About David Crosby, Alcohol, and the ADA

On Monday, it was public urination . Yesterday, we had indecent proposals . And today, the blogging gods, in which I hold a sincerely-held belief, serve me up this federal court opinion about an alcoholic named David Crosby -- not that David Crosby, but still -- who sued his former employer for...

All That for a Bag of Chips: Walgreens Going to Trial in Disability Discrimination Case

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is going to get a jury trial against Walgreens in a disability discrimination case that turns on (allegedly) pilfered potato chips [ an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers ]. The case, which I wrote about way back in 2011...

Telecommuting as Reasonable Accommodation? Sure, But Not in This Case

As fellow employment law blogger Jon Hyman pointed out earlier this week, a court has come out with an aggressively pro-telecommuting decision in a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the EEOC against Ford Motor Company. I am normally a card-carrying, flaming, bleeding-heart liberal when...

An ADA Reasonable Accommodation Just Has to Be Reasonable -- Not the Employee's First Choice

This is my son's first year playing t-ball. The rules, in case you're not familiar with them, are simple: • Everybody hits • Everybody (eventually) rounds the bases • Everybody scores Some games, my son wants to lead off. Some games, he wants to hit last. Ultimately...

Just How Badly Did a Federal Appellate Court Trash Extended Leave as a Reasonable Accommodation?

I'm feeling rather charitable this evening as I punch out this post. Maybe it's the proud feeling of crossing off my bucket list taking my four-year-old son to a Sunday early-bird at the biggest dive bar in South Jersey. (*Bonus points if you can guess the bar). Well, I'm not sure if "proud"...

Requesting an Accommodation Means More Than Saying, "I'm Disabled."

My cold, black employment-law heart is numb to just about anything. I remember this one time, early in my career, when I had to depose a teenage female plaintiff and ask her, with her mother present in the room, whether it offended her that her alleged male sexual harasser wanted to have a threesome...

Cop Loses Big ADA Verdict on a Finding of No Disability

When is a disability not a disability? When an employer fires a difficult employee based on his inability to get along with his co-workers, his ADHD diagnosis notwithstanding, at least according to the 9th Circuit in Weaving v. City of Hillsboro (8/15/14) [ an annotated version of this statute is available...

PA Federal Courts Analyze PHRA Disability Claims Under Pre-ADAAA Standards

by Julie Arbore The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled in Riley v. St. Mary’s Medical Center that, while the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAAA”) altered the federal standard for proving a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act...

What Does an ADA Interactive Process Not Look Like?

Upon attempting to return from a medical leave of absence, an employee requests the following accommodations: an ergonomic chair, adjusted lighting in her office, and a part-time schedule for the next eight days. Instead of providing the accommodations, or even discussing their availability, the employer...

Sixth Circuit Vacates ADA Telecommuting Decision

by Jami K. Suver In April 2014, the Sixth Circuit, in EEOC v. Ford Motor Co. , decided that telecommuting may be a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, even if the employer’s business judgment dictates otherwise [an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers] ...

Title III, Service Animals, and Other Accommodations

It seems like Title III ADA questions are coming up more and more often these days. I wrote about the basics of Title III a while back , and figured it is time to post on it again. Typically when a company has questions relating to its obligations under the ADA, the questions relate to the company’s...

58,000 Reasons to Consider Telework as an ADA Reasonable Accommodation

Telework is among the array of possible reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act that may enable an employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job. Now, as a federal appellate court confirmed last month, there are situations in which telework is...