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Showing 25 posts in Americans with Disabilities Act.

EEOC Indicates Testing Employees for COVID-19 Does Not Violate ADA

As businesses prepare to re-open, many employers will be concerned about the risk of workplace transmission of the COVID-19 disease. Testing employees before allowing them to enter the workplace is one preventative measure employers are considering. However, this measure has been clouded by uncertainty, because a test for COVID-19 could be considered a medical inquiry under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which is only permitted if the inquiry is job-related and consistent with business necessity. More ›

Employers Beware: Terminating an Employee with COVID-19 May Violate Several Federal Statutes

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the issue of whether an employer may lawfully terminate an employee who has contracted COVID-19 has continued to arise. Terminating an employee because they have contracted COVID-19 carries significant legal risk. Some employers might consider the decision to terminate an employee a safety measure meant to protect employees and customers from coming into contact with someone who has had the illness. But doing so may run afoul of several federal statutes, including the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), as well as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). More ›

Seventh Circuit Issues Another ADA Decision Involving Obesity Disability, Finds Future Impairments Are Not Covered

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has issued another ruling regarding an obesity-related disability accommodation request under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Earlier this past summer, we reported on another Seventh Circuit case, in which the court held that obesity is not an ADA-protected disability unless it is caused by a physiological disorder or condition. In Ronald Shell v. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company, the Seventh Circuit reversed a district court's decision, and ruled that an obese applicant for a safety-sensitive position—who was not hired due to his obesity—cannot claim discrimination under the "regarded as" prong of the ADA. More ›

Federal Court in Montana Rules Demand for a Supervisor Reassignment is not an Appropriate Accommodation under the ADA

If you do not like your boss, can you demand your employer provide you with a new one? A federal district court in Montana recently rejected such an accommodation request in a well-reasoned case involving the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related state law. While the court did not rule out the requested accommodation as unreasonable as a matter of law, it did find the request was not appropriate under the facts of the case. More ›

Eighth Circuit to Decide Viability of Bringing Class Action Claims Under the ADA

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit will soon be deciding a case that may have important implications on the viability of class actions for employment discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In Harris v. Union Pacific Railroad, the Eighth Circuit will look at whether a large class can be certified in ADA litigation notwithstanding certain individualized inquiries inherent to the ADA. More ›

Seventh Circuit is latest Federal Court to Limit ADA Protection for Obesity

Regulators, judges and academics have all been vexed over the issue of whether obesity, not caused by an underlying physiological condition, is a disability covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Notwithstanding existing EEOC Enforcement Guidance that obesity is in and of itself protected under the ADA, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently weighed in on the issue and held obesity is not an ADA-protected disability unless it is caused by a physiological disorder or condition. More ›

When Taking a Mexican Vacation During Your FMLA Leave is Not Grounds for Termination

A recent decision issued by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court offers up a good reminder that what employers may consider FMLA abuse may not in fact be FMLA abuse under the law. That's exactly the scenario that played out in Richard A. DaPrato vs. Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. More ›

Why the ADA Can Make it Difficult for a Direct Supervisor to Discharge an Employee

It is often a challenge for employers to decide on who will deliver the bad news to an employee that their employment has ended. That decision may depend on who can connect with an employee and cause the least amount of personal and workplace turmoil.

Direct supervisors may rightfully claim they have special insight into certain workplace tensions and feel they are best positioned to steer clear of these tensions during a termination meeting with an employee. But in some instances, the law actually favors using Human Resources personnel or managers with less personal interaction with the employee. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is one such example, and employers should consider using management personnel who can credibly and demonstrably deny knowledge of personal observations or individualized data when ending an employment relationship with an employee considered "impaired" under the ADA. More ›

Requesting an Accommodation After Violating a Work Rule Too Late Says Minnesota District Court

In a failure to accommodate claim under the Minnesota Human Rights Act (“the MHRA”), a federal judge granted summary judgment for the employer, finding the employee’s after-the-fact explanation of his misconduct was not a valid request for accommodation under the MHRA. More ›

Illinois District Court Weighs in on Essential Functions Under the ADA

A central tenet of the Americans with Disabilities Act is that an employee must be a qualified individual with a disability to receive its protections. A qualified individual with a disability must be able to perform the essential functions of the position with or without a reasonable accommodation. While an employer may modify the duties for an employee to accommodate medical restrictions, this does not mean the essential purpose of the original job must change. The Northern District of Illinois recently addressed this issue in a case involving a Chicago police officer. The officer had suffered several disabling strokes. For years, she worked in a light duty assignment taking police reports over the phone. More ›

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