LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
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...

Defining the Three-Headed Associational Disability Claim

You likely know that the ADA protects employees from discrimination “because of the known disability of an individual with whom the qualified individual is known to have a relationship or association.” But did you know that the ADA has three different theories to define this associational...

Your Employee Has a Fragrance Allergy. What Does the ADA Require You to Do?

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 lexis.com subscribers] , the plaintiff suffered from heightened sensitivity to perfumes, fragrant chemicals...

Take Me to Church — to Reasonably Accommodate My Disability

[cue music ] Let’s say that you have an employee who suffers from anxiety and stress. The employee is very religious and her doctor encourages her to attend church on Sundays. Not only does church provide fulfill her spiritually, but it helps to lower both the stress and anxiety and significantly...

Medical Marijuana as a Reasonable Accommodation?

Yesterday, I blogged about the Colorado Supreme Court's decision that an employer could terminate an employee for medical marijuana use despite a state statute forbidding employment termination for "lawful" off-duty conduct. The decision did not specifically address whether off-duty medical...

Update Your Job Descriptions. Because, Americans with Disabilities Act

A friendly reminder that, just because your job description might say what an employee is supposed to do, doesn’t mean that’s what your employee actually does. And, in an Americans with Disabilities Act case, here’s why that matters… In Shell v. Smith , the plaintiff worked...

United Airlines Pays Over $1 Million To Settle EEOC ADA Suit

United Airlines recently agreed to pay over $1 million to settle a long-running suit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) charging United with violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) by denying disabled employees reassignment to a vacant...

The Americans with Disabilities Act Celebrates Advancing Equal Access for 25 Years

by Sam Hernandez Signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has developed into a significant component of the employer-employee relationship. Described as the world’s first most comprehensive declaration of equality for people with...

Six Things About the ADA That Even an Employer Can Love

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 President George H.W. Bush signed you into law in...

The Outdoor Worker Who Couldn’t Work in the Sun Lost His ADA Claim

Not literally in the sun. Only Superman could do that. Or maybe some of those X-Men. Well, you get the idea. The lede, up to the word “sun.” Yesterday, I read this federal court opinion about an employee who was hired to work outdoors during the day. Unfortunately, during the...

ADA Website Cases Filed in Federal Court in Pittsburgh, With More Likely to Follow

Is Your Website Accessible to the Disabled? A new wave of ADA website lawsuits is anticipated to be filed in federal district courts around the United States against retailers, banks, hospitals, universities and all other places of public accommodation that operate websites. In the past three...

Reassignment as a Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA

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 vacant position and the disabled employee was qualified...

Beware Blanket Exclusion Policies Under the ADA

Nicholas Siewertsen, deaf since birth, sued The Worthington Steel Company, claiming that it discriminated against him when it banned him from performing any job requiring him to operate forklifts or cranes. From the time of his hiring in 2001 until the ban in 2011, Siewertsen operated forklifts...

A Job Duty Performed 5% of the Time Is Probably Not ADA-Essential, You Guys

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 are the essential functions of the job? The essential...

ADA and Accommodating Peanut Allergies at Work

Well, damn. To those who you who receive my blog posts via email , I’m sorry. Yesterday, we had some technical difficulties and my card check post didn’t make it into your inbox. I realize that for some of you — ok, all of you — my blog posts are an icy-cold bottle of beer...

Accommodation of Mental Impairments Under the ADA

by Jami K. Suver According to a 2011 publication of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Mental illnesses account for a larger proportion of disability in developed countries than any other group of illnesses, including cancer and heart disease.” The study noted that...

Alcoholism and the ADA

USC recently fired its head football coach for allegedly missing practice, only to show up later to a special teams meeting drunk. Sometimes current events serve as good reminders of employment law issues. Let's quickly review alcoholism and the ADA. The EEOC has provided some helpful guidance :...

Attendance May Be an Essential Job Function Under the ADA. But, How Do You Know?

The regulations to the Americans with Disabilities Act include a non-exhaustive list of reasonable accommodations that may apply to allow an employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job. They include job restructuring; part-time or modified work schedules; reassignment to...

Illustrating the Importance of Training Your Employees on the ADA

By now you’ve likely heard the story about the blind college student denied service by a Cleveland-area bakery because she was accompanied by her seeing-eye dog. Rather than vilify this establishment (which, god knows, has been done enough on Facebook , and Yelp , and just about everywhere else...