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Showing 12 posts in Disability Discrimination.

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 ›

Uniform Application of Employment Policies Leads to Positive Outcome in Employee’s Suit

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently explained that an employee’s inconvenience from a neutral workplace policy or the employer’s discretionary denial of benefits cannot support a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (“Title VII”), or the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). 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 ›

Wisconsin Supreme Court Mints New Test for Determining Discriminatory Intent in Disability Cases

In a huge win for Wisconsin employers, the Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected the longstanding version of the inference method followed by the Labor Industry Review Commission (LIRC) to determine intent in disability discrimination cases involving conduct that manifests from the employee’s disability. It replaced LIRC’s method with a two-part inquiry that requires employees to prove (1) the employer took an adverse employment action against him or her because of conduct caused by his or her disability, and (2) the employer knew the employee’s conduct was caused by his disability. 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 ›

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 ›

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