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Total Articles: 10

Federal Court of Appeals To Decide Whether Morbid Obesity Is An Impairment

We know that the ADAAA (Amendments Act of 2008) substantially altered the landscape for review of claims asserting a disability. But are employees still required to show some sort of disorder or impairment to state a claim? Is morbid obesity an impairment even if it is not tied to any underlying disorder? A case pending before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals is set to decide whether obesity is an impairment in and of itself under the ADAAA.

Indefinite Leave? A No-Go In The Federal Third Circuit!!

Indefinite leave is a thorn in the side of many employers. Oftentimes, employers have an employee out on leave who receives a doctor’s note that says the leave is indefinite. What is an employer to do? Sticking your head in the sand is certainly not recommended. The Third Circuit is one more Circuit to agree that indefinite leaves are not a reasonable accommodation.

Appellate Courts Agree: Regular, Reliable Attendance Is Essential Function of Most Jobs

Recent decisions from the Second, Fifth, and Eighth Circuit Courts of Appeals exemplify the growing consensus amongst courts that even employees with a disability are generally required to comply with company attendance policies. While employers may need to provide leave as a reasonable accommodation, many courts generally agree that regular, reliable attendance is an essential function of most jobs within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).

Employers Can Now Apply Online to Employ Workers With Disabilities at Subminimum Wages

Employers can now apply online for permission to employ workers with disabilities at subminimum wages instead of mailing in a paper application.

Employers Asserting “Essential Job Function” Defense Need a Clear Job Description.

Just a few months ago, we wrote about a case where a federal district court denied summary judgment to an employer who had asserted that attendance at work was an essential job function. The Court held that although regular attendance at work was set out in the job description, that was not enough to obtain summary judgment. In a slight twist, today we discuss a case in which the court focused on the adequacy of the job description itself and found it lacking. For that reason and others, it denied the employer’s motion for summary judgment.

No Adverse Employment Action, No Failure-to-Accommodate Claim, Tenth Circuit Rules

The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) includes within its definition of “discriminate,” an employer’s failure to provide a reasonable accommodation to a qualified individual with a disability. But, is a failure to accommodate standing alone—absent an adverse employment action—enough to establish an ADA failure-to-accommodate claim? For example, if an employer fails to accommodate a wheelchair-bound employee by refusing to move her office a few feet closer to the entrance, has the employer violated the ADA? In this scenario, assuming the facts show that traveling the extra distance is just a mere inconvenience, the answer likely depends on whether an adverse employment action is a required element of a failure-to-accommodate claim.

eLABORate: Navigating the Murky Waters of Accommodations of Pregnancy-Related Limitations

There has been increasing media coverage regarding the extent of an employer’s obligation to accommodate pregnancy-related limitations that fall outside the scope of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). While the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) does not require employers to provide accommodations to employees due to pregnancy or pregnancy-related limitations, it creates a potential trap for the unwary in which employers may be liable for pregnancy discrimination if they fail to provide certain accommodations in connection with pregnancy or pregnancy-related limitations.

DOJ’s Recent Website Accessibility Letter Reaffirms Obligations While Opening the Door to a Due Process Defense

The Department of Justice has finally broken its long silence on website accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the news is both good and bad. The bad: the Department rejected calls from the business community by reaffirming its position under the Obama administration that websites of businesses open to the public must be accessible to persons with disabilities. The good: public accommodations need not conform to any particular standard to meet obligations under the ADA.

“Need To Know Basis” – A Good Rule Of Thumb Under The ADA

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), employers have certain obligations regarding the non-disclosure of employee medical information and disabilities. For instance, under the ADA, information an employer obtains regarding an employee’s medical condition must be collected on separate forms, kept in medical files, and treated as a confidential medical record. In fact, it should be kept entirely separate from the rest of the personnel file.

Plaintiff Lacks Standing to Claim Website Violates ADA Where It Does Not Impede Ability to Access Physical Location of the Business

With the rise in lawsuits under Title III of the ADA regarding accessibility of websites, Courts have been framing how such claims fit into the law’s requirements for accessibility at places of public accommodation. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida recently provided additional clarification in Gomez v. Knife Management, LLC (S.D. Fla. Sep. 14, 2018).