Labor and Employment Law

Recent Posts

Court Finds that Random Alcohol Tests Don't Always Violate the ADA
Posted on 22 Feb 2013 by Robin Shea

Whoa. A federal judge in Pennsylvania held this week that U.S. Steel had the right under the Americans with Disabilities Act to conduct random alcohol tests on probationary employees at a coke plant , granting summary judgment to the company in... Read More

The Long and Short of Height Discrimination under the ADA
Posted on 15 Jul 2013 by Jon Hyman

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... Read More

What Does an ADA Interactive Process Not Look Like?
Posted on 29 Sep 2014 by Jon Hyman

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... Read More

Six Things About the ADA That Even an Employer Can Love
Posted on 31 Jul 2015 by Robin Shea

Dear Americans with Disabilities Act, How time flies — you’re already 25 years old! I have seen many lovely tributes to you this week, and a couple of my favorites are here and here . I hope you don’t mind one more from me. When... Read More

Reassignment as a Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA
Posted on 15 Sep 2015 by Steptoe & Johnson PLLC

by Mark G. Jeffries I was recently asked if an employer has to assign a qualified employee with a disability to a vacant position as part of the employer’s duty to reasonably accommodate the disability. The employer believed that, if he had a... Read More

58,000 Reasons to Consider Telework as an ADA Reasonable Accommodation
Posted on 19 May 2015 by Eric Meyer

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... Read More

If Your Job Makes You Want to Kill Yourself, You May (or May Not) Be an ADA "Direct Threat"
Posted on 28 Mar 2012 by Robin Shea

If your job makes you want to kill yourself, are you a "direct threat" to your own safety? In what has to be one of the weirdest ADA cases I've seen , a woman (let's call her "Gladys") was hired as a temp for a tech company... Read More

“Poor Performance” Caused by a Disability Is Not a Good Reason to Deny an Accommodation
Posted on 23 Jan 2013 by Abbey Spanier

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)... Read More

10 Reasons for Employers to Be Jolly About the ADA (Says the EEOC)
Posted on 9 Dec 2011 by Robin Shea

The American Bar Association sponsored a webinar this week on the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was noteworthy for its inclusion of EEOC commissioners Chai Feldblum (Democrat) and Victoria Lipnic (Republican). I'm usually such a doom... Read More

Reassignment as Reasonable Accommodation: Mandatory or Not?
Posted on 12 Mar 2012 by Jon Hyman

Earlier this month, I wrote about the ADA and hiring preferences , pointing out that the disability discrimination laws do not prevent an employer from giving a hiring preference to a disabled job applicant by creating a cause for action in favor of a... Read More

Your Employee Has a Fragrance Allergy. What Does the ADA Require You to Do?
Posted on 9 Jun 2015 by Eric Meyer

This can be a really difficult situation. Just ask a local Pennsylvania employer. In Brady v. United Refrigeration, Inc. (opinion here ) [an enhanced version of this opinion is available to subscribers] , the plaintiff suffered from heightened... Read More

ADA Plaintiff Perpetrates Fraud on Court, Sees Claim Stricken
Posted on 9 May 2011 by Lee Berlik

In a memorandum opinion dated April 27, 2011, United States District Judge T.S. Ellis, who sits in the Alexandria Division of the Eastern District of Virginia, taught plaintiff Stephanie Holmes that it was not a good idea to change her story multiple... Read More

What Does the ADA Say About Employee Medical Information and Social Media?
Posted on 9 Jul 2014 by Jon Hyman

The ADA protects, as confidential, employee medical information obtained by an employer. Last year, I asked the following questions about the impact of social media on this confidentiality obligation: What happens, however, when an employee suffers... Read More

EEOC to Consider the Use of Leave as a Reasonable Accommodation
Posted on 6 Jun 2011 by Jon Hyman

I have previously discussed how the ADA may require that employers provide unpaid leaves of absence to disabled employees of more than 12 weeks: Has the ADA swallowed the FMLA for employee medical leaves? ADA may require leaves of absence... Read More

Tags: FMLA , ADA

A Job Duty Performed 5% of the Time Is Probably Not ADA-Essential, You Guys
Posted on 6 Oct 2015 by Eric Meyer

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to provide a reasonable accommodation, upon request, to an individual with a disability to enable that person to perform the essential functions of the job. Oftentimes, the questions arises: What... Read More