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Employers, Don't be Overzealous with Your Wellness. Beware of the ADA and Everything Else

Do you want a healthy workforce? Of course! But don't overdo it. A too-aggressive wellness program may make your company sick in the long run. Employers and their insurance companies love wellness programs. They result in reduced premiums as well as (presumably) fewer big-money claims because...

Can ADA-disabled employees be required to work overtime?

To prove disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a plaintiff, at a minimum, must prove that: she is disabled; she is otherwise qualified to perform the job requirements, with or without reasonable accommodation; and she was discharged ...

Up in smoke: Hopes of ADA protection for medical marijuana use are dashed . . . for now, anyway

As you all know, the Americans with Disabilities Act excludes "current users of illegal drugs" from protection. Meaning that an employer is free to take action against applicants or employees based on their current use of illegal drugs. A question that has arisen a few times, and which I've...

Sporadic and isolated comments: "Regarded as" claims under the New ADA vs. the Old ADA

The ADA protects three classes of "disabled" employees: Those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual; Those with a record of such an impairment; and Those regarded as having such an impairment. To...

Does the ADA Require Segways? It Just May - COTW #102

Does the ADA require Disneyland in Californ-I-A to allow Segways? It just may. ( I can make things out of clay, and lie by the bay ). The Case of the Week (HT: Heather Bussing ) is Baughman v. Walt Disney World Company (opinion here) , an ADA case from the 9th Circuit and written by fan-favorite Judge...

Telecommuting as a reasonable accommodation

More than two years ago , I hypothesized that the breadth of the ADA's 2009 amendments would likely cover fringe medical conditions such as chemical sensitivities. I wrote: The ADA amendments are intended to make it much easier for individuals to demonstrate that they meet the definition of "disability...

Wellness "sticks," as well as "carrots," are legal, court says

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit* has held that employers may use "sticks" to encourage participation in wellness programs as well as "carrots," if the wellness program is part of a group health or other benefit plan. *The 11th Circuit hears appeals from federal...

No ADA accommodations required for non-disabled employees

Last week, we had a two-part series on the interplay between the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act . The former clearly obligates employers to afford leave to an eligible employee to care for a sick child. But, what about the latter? That is, must an employer provide...

How long is too long for a medical leave of absence?

Last year, I suggested that the ADA has swallowed the FMLA for employee medical leaves : The recently amended ADA is expansive enough to cover most medical conditions . If most medical conditions are covered as disabilities, then most employees with medical conditions will likely, at some point during...

Fighting Back: Bullies and Obesity

Some people are real jerks. Anyone who deals with the general public for a living knows that this is an indisputable fact. For those who work in sales or service positions know that the theory "the customer is always right" can be a bitter pill to swallow. Every waiter, store clerk, and receptionist...

Utilityman can't climb utility poles, but has ADA claim against utility company

From the blog that brought you " Can a bridge worker with a fear of heights have a viable ADA claim? ," comes news of a recent federal-court decision which -- well -- you read the title to this blog post. In RRRRRRRRRRRRR Rico v. Xcel Energy, Inc. [ cue music ][ enhanced version available...

More on telecommuting as a reasonable accommodation

Two months ago, I reported on Core v. Champaign County Board of County Commissioners , which, in denying a motion to dismiss, concluded that the employee's complaint had sufficiently pleaded the issue of whether the employer's decision to deny her request to telecommute as a reasonable accommodation...

EEOC opines on domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking as Title VII and ADA violations

There is no federal law that expressly gives workplace rights to employees who find themselves victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. That omission, however, does not unchain employers to discriminate against employees who find themselves in these unfortunate circumstances. Earlier...