Tag Archives: ADA

Employers Need to Consider Accommodation Requests Made at Any Time During a Disabled Employee’s Employment

Can an employer simply ignore a request by a disabled employee for an accommodation made in a meeting that could lead to the employee’s termination? A recent federal case from Wisconsin says no. In the case, the former employee, who is legally deaf, was employed as a sales associate in a national retail store. A confrontation … Continue reading this entry

Allowing an Employee to Work a Shorter Shift May Be a Reasonable Accommodation

A recent federal district court decision is a good reminder that an employer needs to explore all options before denying an accommodation request, including whether it can go back to an employment practice it has changed and applied to all similarly situated employees. The recent case involved a nurse at a hospital with a brain tumor. … Continue reading this entry

Employer Wellness Programs: Finally (or at Least Potentially) Some Clarity

Late last week, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its long-anticipated proposed regulations regarding the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to employer-sponsored wellness programs for employees, and the news for employers is not all bad. In fact, while the guidance only comes in the form of proposed rules (meaning there is … Continue reading this entry

Supreme Court Delivers New Life to Pregnancy Discrimination Act Claim

In an eagerly awaited ruling expected to provide greater guidance on an employer’s obligation to accommodate pregnant employees, last week the U.S. Supreme Court established the standard an employee must meet to state a discrimination claim under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) when an employer provides accommodations to non-pregnant employees, but does not provide the same … Continue reading this entry

Mental Health and the Workplace — Accommodations

Depression. Anxiety. Bipolar Disorder. These and similar mental health diagnoses may affect your boss, the CEO of your company, the head of HR, your assistant, two of your peer workers, or maybe even you. And their symptoms may also affect how well employees perform their jobs. Just as with physical disorders, mental disorders that rise … Continue reading this entry

Multiple Requests for Extension of Medical Leave – Three Strikes and the Employee Is Not Out!

A recent Americans with Disabilities Act case is a reminder the employers must proceed carefully before denying repeated requests for extensions of medical leave by an employee. In the case, the employer had a “personal leave” policy that allowed for up to two additional 30-day leaves of absence after Family and Medical Leave Act leave … Continue reading this entry

No Coach Necessary for Potty-Mouth Employee

As we have recently noted, and as many employers have probably bemoaned a time or two, sometimes it feels like the legal concept of “reasonable accommodation” has little to do with real-world notions of what is reasonable, particularly when courts are telling employees they might have to allow admitted employee theft as such an accommodation. … Continue reading this entry

You Posted My Medical Information on Facebook?!?!?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment. An employer is required to make a reasonable accommodation to an employee’s known disability if it would not impose an undue hardship on the employer’s business. In the course of exploring an employee’s limitations … Continue reading this entry

Gotta Pass the Smell Test, Too

A Florida court recently let a claim proceed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), even though the employee had been terminated for a positive drug test and the ADA has a specific exclusion for current drug users. In legal terms, the court denied the employer’s initial motion to try and have the case dismissed – … Continue reading this entry

Employer’s Honest Belief That Employee Could Not Perform Job Due to Medical Condition Justified Termination

An employer was justified in terminating an employee based on its honest belief that the employee could not perform his job due to his medical condition. In Degraw v. Exide Technologies (10th Circuit February 20, 2012), the employee worked as a material handler and had a history of back problems predating his employment. He took … Continue reading this entry

When Is a Test a Medical Examination?

For many years, FedEx employed a hard-of-hearing worker at Kennedy Airport who operated a “tug,” which is heavy machinery used to load and unload airplanes. After the employee committed a number of safety violations, FedEx required him to participate in a field test, devised by a FedEx safety committee to test the employee’s ability to … Continue reading this entry

"Associational Disability Discrimination" -- Yet Another Protected Category

Everyone knows the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating against employees because of their mental or physical disabilities. But did you know the ADA also prohibits discrimination against an employee based on the employee’s relationships or associations with a disabled person? This broad reach of the ADA provides yet an additional basis for … Continue reading this entry

Using Fitness-for-Duty Exams to Avoid Possible Harmful Conduct

The ADA and its regulations generally prohibit an employer from requiring medical examinations or inquiring about the existence or severity of an employee’s disability. There are specific instances in which a medical examination of an employee may justified, and the ADA will allow an employer to require one. One of these exceptions is an employee … Continue reading this entry