Showing 10 posts in Accommodation.

Trust the Process: Relying on Existing Law or Policy is not an ADA Defense Says Third Circuit

Many times, employers evaluate disability claims by simply checking the boxes. It’s easy to develop tunnel vision, especially when the employer feels the issue is narrowly defined by an existing law or policy, e.g., a law or employer policy requiring that certain employees be vaccinated. However, this narrow frame of mind may cause employers to miss the complete picture. A recent 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals (DE, NJ, PA) decision illustrates the consequences of missing the big picture. In Ruggiero v. Mount Nittany Medical Center, the court addressed the interplay between a hospital’s vaccination policy and the ADA, holding held an employee’s ADA claim could proceed because the hospital failed to engage in the interactive process. The Court held the hospital had a duty to engage in the process once aware of her disability and request for accommodation, regardless of its policy requiring that all employees be vaccinated. More ›

California Employer Win – Multiple Month Leave Without Finite Return Date Is Not a Reasonable Accommodation

A recent Southern District of California court decision provides California employers with additional guidance on what constitutes a reasonable accommodation. More ›

Retroactive Accommodations to Excuse Past Misconduct Not Required under the ADA

Envision a situation where you are about to terminate an employee for violating a work conduct rule. Sensing what is coming, the employee explains to you her disability caused her to violate the rule.  Are you required to accommodate under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and forgo termination? The answer is no. More ›

Employee’s Inability to Meet Job’s Attendance Requirements Divests Her of ADA Protections Sixth Circuit Holds

The converging paths of the Family Medical Leave Act’s (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ranks among the most difficult legal issues for employers to safely traverse. Employers should think twice before terminating an employee who cannot return to work after 12 weeks of FMLA leave. This is because courts across the country have held that additional leave may be a necessary reasonable accommodation under the ADA. The question then becomes, how much additional leave does one need to provide an employee before he or she is no longer protected by the ADA. More ›

Seventh Circuit Finds no ADA Liability for Employer not Involved in Decisionmaking

Joyce Whitaker began working for Milwaukee County as a corrections officer in 2001. In 2005, she sustained a work-related back injury and subsequently was diagnosed with several related medical conditions. As a result, her physician imposed permanent work restrictions and limitations in a number of basic tasks, including sitting, standing and walking. After receiving the restrictions, the County transferred Whitaker to a new position to accommodate her disability. More ›

Seventh Circuit: Employer had Knowledge of Employee's Narcolepsy at time of Termination

In a decision issued last week, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals once again drove home the point that an employer who ignores or takes action in spite of an employee’s apparent disability does so at its own peril. The case, Spurling v. C&M Fine Pack, Inc., No. 13-1708 (Jan. 13, 2014), involved an employee who – unbeknownst to her or the employer – suffered from narcolepsy. More ›

Asking About Easier jobs Triggers Employer’s duty to Participate in Interactive Process

An employee of a printing and copying company was diagnosed with stage four cancer, and was concerned that she would be unable to perform the physical aspects of her job. After her diagnosis, she spoke with her supervisor, stated that she wanted to keep working and asked whether there were any other easier jobs available. The supervisor stated that he did not know of any, nor did he direct her to human resources. Twenty minutes after the call with her supervisor, the employee resigned. She subsequently filed a failure to accommodate claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("DA). In rejecting the employer's motion for summary judgment, the court held that the employer's obligation to participate in the interactive process begins as soon as it is placed on notice of a disability. Ultimately, the court held that the ADA obligated the employer to push the process forward once the employee informed it of her diagnosis and the fact that she wanted to keep working. This case demonstrates the importance of participating in, and clearly documenting the steps taken during, the interactive process. Once employers learn of an employee's disability, steps must be taken to ensure that interactive process begins and is effective.

For more information read Suvada v. Gordon Flesch Co., Inc., No. 11 C 07892 (N.D. Ill. Sep. 13, 2013).

Employer Successfully Defends Termination of Employee at Conclusion of FMLA Leave

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that an employer did not violate the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) by terminating an employee who failed to return to work after exhausting her leave. More ›

Christian Employee Lacks Religious Accommodation Claim

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently addressed the issue of accommodations of employees' religious practices. More ›

Employer did not Discriminate or Retaliate Against Disabled Employee who was Unable to Perform In-Person Supervision Tasks

A supervisor of released adult offenders suffered from sacroiliac joint dysfunction, a condition causing pain in the joints that limited her ability to walk and forced her to work from home. After surgery, she made a full return to work, but roughly a year and a half later she fell down stairs at work and the symptoms of her condition returned. She had a second surgery and took leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to recover. She was terminated after her FMLA leave expired. More ›

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