LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
The Latest Guidance for Employers on Telecommuting as an ADA Accommodation

If you’re in a rush, I’ll hit you with the punchline and save you the trouble of reading 1,000+ words of blog post: Telecommuting may be a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act , except where regular attendance is an essential function of the job. For those...

Some Thoughts on Accommodations and Flexible Workplaces

I’ve been thinking a lot over the past three days about the flexibility that employers afford their employees. I am part of a family with two working professional parents (one of whom travels a great deal), and two young children. If I did not have flexibility in where I perform my job, my life...

Is Telecommuting a Reasonable Accommodation, or Is It Not?

Inquiring minds want to know! In the context of a lawsuit brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a recent court decision says that “regular attendance” is an essential function of the job. But what is “regular attendance”? Which made me think of this: (I promise...

Upon Further Review: Sixth Circuit Denies Telecommuting as Reasonable Accommodation

by Andrew J. Barber We have written previously on this blog about the decision of a panel of the 6 th Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Ohio, among other jurisdictions), which determined last year that an employee with irritable bowel syndrome who worked for Ford Motor Company should have been...

Asymptomatic HIV Is a “Disability,” No Matter What One Appellate Court Said

In Clayton v. Cleveland Clinic Foundation , an Ohio appellate court was faced with the issue of whether Ohio’s disability discrimination statute protects asymptomatic HIV as a “disability.” The court relied on the following exchange from the plaintiff’s deposition to conclude...

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...

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...

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...

When Religious Liberty Clashes With Job Requirements

By now, you’ve likely heard about the Muslim flight attendant who filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC, claiming that her employer refused to accommodate her religion by requiring her serve alcohol on flights. There is much to say about this issue, but I do not think I can say it any...

Time Off For Religious Holidays

Today is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which means that many Jewish employees are taking the day off. Is an employer obligated, however, to grant a request for time off when requested for a religious observance? Title VII requires an employer to reasonably accommodate an employee whose sincerely...

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...

Double Whammy for Employer Who Won’t Accommodate Pregnancy — But Will the EEOC’S Case Survive?

This case may have some problems, but it’s a good illustration of why employers need to be careful, post- Young v. UPS [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ]. Thanks very much to Bill Goren for sending it my way. The Equal Employment Opportunity...

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...

Did You Hear the One About the HR Manager Who’d Never Heard of Title VII?

The bottom of the first page of this recent federal court opinion in EEOC v. Star Transport, Inc. really grabbed my attention: In December 2008 or January 2009, Edward Briggs became Star Transport’s Human Resources Manager. He received no training on anti-discrimination laws, was not aware of...