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Showing 20 posts in Americans with Disabilities Act.

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 ›

Rigid Compliance with Company Policy May Violate the ADA

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued a decision upholding a jury's guilty verdict against a large national retailer. Although a straightforward application of the Americans with Disabilities Act, this case a great example of how strict enforcement of company policy can run afoul of the Act’s prohibition against discrimination and an employer’s obligation to provide reasonable accommodations. More ›

Positive Result for Employer: New Jersey Federal District Court Holds No Duty to Waive Drug Test for Medical Marijuana Patients

New Jersey is the latest state to offer clarity on an employer's obligations to accommodate its employees' medical marijuana use. In Cotto v. Ardagh Glass Packaging, New Jersey's Federal District Court held that neither the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination ("NJLAD") nor the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act ("CUMMA") requires an employer to waive a drug test as a condition of employment for an employee who uses medical marijuana. More ›

When an Employer Must Accommodate a Full-Time Employee with Part-Time Hours

Working full-time hours is an essential function of a full-time job, right? Not necessarily, said the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in a Hostettler v. The College of Wooster. When the job can be done on a reduced schedule, at least in the short term, employers have a duty to accommodate. More ›

7th Circuit Approves Well-Constructed Lateral Transfer As a Reasonable Accommodation

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently determined that an Illinois Sheriff’s Department did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by declining to provide a deputy his requested accommodation, an SUV, and instead transferring him to a position that did not require driving. The deputy had alleged the Department’s failed to accommodate him by refusing to provide him with an SUV, then retaliated against him by transferring him to a courthouse duty position. More ›

Taking Work Restrictions Seriously: The EEOC Is Targeting “100% Healed” Policies as Systemic Disability Discrimination

A “100-percent healed” policy refers to a practice or procedure that mandates that an employee be released to work by his physician without any restrictions before he may return to work. For example, if an employee who took FMLA leave for carpal tunnel surgery was released to return to work with a reasonable restriction, e.g., 10 minute break after every hour of prolonged typing, a 100-percent healed policy would prevent the employee from returning to work, perhaps altogether if the restriction becomes permanent. More ›

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