Tag Archives: Americans with Disabilities Act

Employers Are Allowed to Choose Alternative Reasonable Accommodations if Effective

Reasonable
Employers generally understand their obligation to provide a reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities as required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as a number of state and local laws. A recent federal court case reminds employers that they may choose among reasonable accommodations and that as long as the selected … Continue reading this entry

“High” Stakes for Employers Dealing With Evolving Cannabis Laws

Marijuana
The evolving legalization of marijuana for both medical and recreational uses continues to cause workplace issues for employers. Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana, and 32 states have legalized medical marijuana under varying circumstances. In addition, three more states have 2018 ballot initiatives considering either recreational or medical marijuana uses.  … Continue reading this entry

The Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Is Now In Effect: What Employers Need To Know

noncompetition
On April 1, 2018, the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (the Act) went into effect, creating several rights and protections for pregnant workers, as well as for workers who have conditions related to pregnancy.  The Act – which applies to employers with six or more employees – affirmatively establishes pregnancy as a protected class under … Continue reading this entry

What Now for Wellness?

Wellness
If you’re an employer trying to sponsor a wellness program for 2019, then the recent kerfuffle between the AARP and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) affects you. The AARP has challenged the EEOC’s wellness program regulations on the grounds that the EEOC’s permissible wellness incentive of up to 30 percent of the cost of … Continue reading this entry

New York City Mandates Cooperative Dialogue for Accommodation Requests

New York
New York City maintains some of the most expansive and comprehensive human rights laws in the nation. Two new amendments to the city’s laws, which address the process that employers (and other covered entities, such as public and housing accommodations) must use to evaluate reasonable accommodation requests from individuals with disabilities, add to the city’s … Continue reading this entry

So What’s it Going to Cost Me?

cost
When faced with an employment discrimination, harassment or retaliation claim, often the immediate response is, “We are going to defend ourselves and prove we are right,” followed by, “So what will it cost us if we lose?” This article describes the damages available to a prevailing party under the primary federal employment statutes.… Continue reading this entry

Managing the Interplay Between the ADA, FMLA and WC

ADA
The following description may seem quite familiar to those who deal with employee issues on a daily basis. Your employee, who has a physically demanding job on the factory floor, has been out on leave for an injury that he contends is work-related. However, your worker’s compensation insurance carrier has recently denied coverage. Additionally, the … Continue reading this entry

Seventh Circuit Puts the Brakes on Never-ending Leave Under the ADA

Reasonable
Employers everywhere have been repeatedly warned not to automatically terminate employees who have exhausted their Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave. Instead, employers should first consider whether the employee might be entitled to some additional leave time as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  But the key question for employers … Continue reading this entry

Multiple Choices: Compliance Considerations in the Shifting Landscape of Pre-Employment Testing

Pre-Employment
In recent years, the landscape of pre-hire employment screening tests has rapidly evolved. Employers throughout the U.S. are facing shrinking applicant pools as the labor market tightens.  As a result, many employers are now looking at personality and psychological tests to find the best fitting applicants. While the individual tests may vary, these tests often … Continue reading this entry

Mass Court Clouds Marijuana in the Workplace Issues

Reasonable
A recent unanimous decision by the highest state court in Massachusetts sends a warning signal to employers in all states. Marijuana in the workplace is a complex and unsettled legal issue that will require all employers to navigate a veritable minefield.  Even if you are in a state other than Massachusetts, this recent case may … Continue reading this entry

Transgender Employees May Be Entitled To Protection From Discrimination Under The ADA

Reasonable
Of late, we have recently written quite a bit about the ever-changing legal landscape regarding protections for LGBTQ employees. Most of the authority we explored involved whether or not sexual orientation (as well as gender identity and expression) are protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII).  Now, for the … Continue reading this entry

Stepping Out of the Shadows: Accommodating Mental Health Issues in the Workplace

EEO Compliance
2016 brought about a host of changes for employers, including new political leaders, ever-changing technology, and new and more open dialogue on a variety of different issues. Aside from politics, perhaps one of the biggest issues brought to the forefront this past year concerns the topic of mental health. Once taboo, discussions of mental health … Continue reading this entry

EEOC Suffers Another Setback – ADA Does Not Require Automatic Reassignment of Disabled Employee to Open Position

EEOC Developments
As we have previously reported, under the Obama administration, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has aggressively sought to expand the breadth of the agency’s authority to collect employee pay data and other private company information. Similarly, the EEOC has sought to expand the scope of federal civil rights laws in a number of areas, … Continue reading this entry

When is Aberrant Workplace Behavior Sufficient to Justify Termination?

Aberrant workplace behavior caused by stress or a psychological condition is not uncommon. However, such behavior can also cause employers to become anxious regarding how to lawfully deal with the disruption and its effect on co-workers. The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (covering Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin) recently provided guidance.… Continue reading this entry

New EEOC Rules for Wellness Programs: A 30 Percent Incentive = Voluntary

For years, employers have been allowed to offer voluntary wellness programs to employees under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Both laws generally prohibit health-related questions and medical examinations, such as biometric screenings, but have an exception if done in conjunction with a voluntary wellness program. However, in … Continue reading this entry

Connection to Someone With a Disability is Nearly Identical to an Actual Disability

As disability discrimination and accommodation claims continue to rise across the country, an appellate court in California may have just helped significantly expand such claims in the future by finding that an employee can maintain a suit for “associational” disability discrimination based on the disability of his son.… Continue reading this entry

Obesity Not A Disability Without An Underlying Medical Cause

In June of last year, we pondered whether obesity is a mere physical characteristic or a disability protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as now amended by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA). In that inquiry, undertaken in the context of a pending appeal of a federal court’s dismissal of a … Continue reading this entry

When Seemingly Indefinite Leave and Non-Cooperation Makes a Leave of Absence Unreasonable

A recent decision from the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia provides a result that employers may often think they do not see enough in labor and employment law: a common sense solution to a situation that confronts them often – what to do under federal (and potentially state) statutes requiring reasonable accommodation … Continue reading this entry

EEOC Issues Guidance on Rights of Applicants and Employees Infected with HIV

EEOC Developments
In a recent press release announcing new guidance for applicants and employees infected with HIV, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) noted that in 2014 alone, it resolved over 200 charges of discrimination based on HIV status, and recovered over $825,000 for job applicants and employees with HIV allegedly denied employment and reasonable accommodation as … Continue reading this entry

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

Health Conscious? The EEOC Is Expanding Incentives for Employees’ Spouses

EEOC Developments
Employee wellness programs are frequently a source of ulcer-causing angst for employers, but the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is making moves to treat some of the underlying issues. Late last week, the EEOC issued a proposed rule to amend Title II of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) that would “allow employers who … 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

EEOC, Court Flip Flops Reveal Challenges to Employers Facing Accommodation Requests

If even the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the courts cannot agree how far the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) accommodation obligation extends, how is an employer supposed to do so? As we noted recently, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (covering Kentucky Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee) has determined that the obligation does … Continue reading this entry

Isn’t Consistency Great?

Employer
There is probably no more hard and fast rule, or favorite word of human resource professionals, than “consistency.” And we love consistency, right? It allows you to say “no” to an employee who wants something outside of the norm. It gives you a guilt-free reason to evenly apply policies, even when the result may otherwise … Continue reading this entry