Say It Ain’t So: Court Holds an Employer Does Not Have to Accommodate a Pregnant Employee

Last year, I railed against the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act , a bill that, if passed, would require employers to make a reasonable accommodation for an employee's pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. I argued that the law does not need alteration because Title VII, through...

“Poor Performance” Caused by a Disability Is Not a Good Reason to Deny an Accommodation

The Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") requires employers to make "reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability." 42 U.S.C.A. § 12112(b)(5)(A). To determine an appropriate accommodation employers...

Sixth Circuit District Court Concludes Telecommuting Is Not a Reasonable Accommodation under the ADA

by Lindsay M. Bouffard Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's recently appointed CEO, has come under fire for her decision to end Yahoo's telecommuting program. This drastic measure has Human Resources professionals wondering whether a blanket ban on telecommuting could have legal ramifications. Under...

Duane Morris LLP: First ADA ATM Accessibility Class Action Lawsuit Filed In Atlanta

The first of what is likely to be many Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ATM accessibility class action lawsuits against Atlanta-area banks was filed in federal district court in Atlanta last week. The lawsuit was filed by the same Pittsburgh-based law firm, Carlson Lynch, responsible for the filing...

Leave as an ADA Reasonable Accommodation; When Is Enough...Enough?

Unquestionably, when it come to tackling the Americans with Disabilities Act , one of the biggest issues affecting the workplace and accommodating disabled employees is providing leave as a reasonable accommodation. Anecdotally, a question that plagues most employers is just how much leave is enough...

United States: Comp Claimant’s Execution of Compromise and Release Containing General Release Barred Subsequent Federal Action Under ADA and Pennsylvania Human Relations Act

A federal district court recently held that plaintiff's execution of a Compromise and Release of his workers' compensation claim bars his right to raise claims under the ADA and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. Accordingly, the federal court dismissed plaintiff’s case with prejudice...

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...

Arkansas: Claimant May Pursue Comp Benefits in Spite of Claim During EEOC Dispute That She Was Capable of Working

A divided Arkansas appellate court recently held that a former employer that paid $60,000 to a former employee to settle the latter’s EEOC & ADA charges might be entitled to at least a partial credit under Ark. Code Ann. § 11-9-807 against future workers’ compensation disability...

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"...

Federal: Facebook Comment Regarding Injured Worker’s Medical Condition May Subject Employer to Liability under ADA

A federal district court has refused to dismiss a civil action filed against a company by a former employee who claimed that a former coworker, who processed workers’ compensation claims for the company, violated § 102 of the Americans With Disabilities Act’s by posting a derogatory...

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] ...