join our network! affiliate login  
Custom Search
GET OUR FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTERS!
Daily and Weekly Editions • Articles • Alerts • Expert Advice • Learn More

Total Articles: 6

Fear Not: Employees’ Phobias May Not Relieve Them of Essential Job Duties

From agoraphobia to xenophobia, employers should be well aware that there is a long list of phobias—including more common disorders such as social anxiety disorder—that can be considered disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Recently, however, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a $1.8 million jury verdict and ruled that a drug store chain did not violate the ADA when it terminated a pharmacist who suffered from trypanophobia—a fear of needles. The case, Stevens v. Rite Aid Corporation, No. 15-277(L) (2nd Cir. Mar. 21, 2017), arose from Rite Aid’s 2011 decision to require all pharmacists to give immunization injections to customers.

“Deaf Culture” Expert to Testify at Trial? Judge Allows EEOC to Test the Limits

In the last couple of years, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has prosecuted at least 12 lawsuits on behalf of deaf or hard-of-hearing employees or job applicants. And, within the last 10 years, the U.S. Department of Justice has litigated and/or settled close to 40 cases involving the failure to adequately accommodate deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals under Titles II or III of the ADA. A jury trial in one such case brought by the EEOC started this week in Sacramento, California. The case includes a claim that, while the employer previously provided an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter for the employee at certain times during the workday, a new manager provided only “fingerspelling” (i.e., the actual spelling of words, letter by letter) instead of ASL for communication.

Discrimination and Retaliation Claims of Nurse with Night Blindness May Proceed, Federal Court Rules

Denying a nursing home’s motion for summary judgment, a federal court in Tennessee has allowed a nurse who suffered from impaired vision to proceed with her age and disability discrimination claims and a claim for retaliation. Harris v. MatureCare of Standifer Place, LLC d/b/a The Health Center at Standifer Place, C.A. No. 1:14-CV-64 (E.D. Tenn. Aug. 5, 2015).

EEOC has defined "ability to interact with others" as a major life activity, making social anxiety disorder a disability under the ADA

An employee who was fired after asking to be reassigned to a role with less direct personal interaction as an accommodation for her social anxiety disorder has been allowed by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to take her case to a jury. Jacobs v. N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts, No. 13-2212 (March 12, 2015).

EEOC has defined "ability to interact with others" as a major life activity, making social anxiety disorder a disability under the ADA.

An employee fired after asking to be reassigned to a role with less direct personal interaction as an accommodation for her “social anxiety disorder” is being allowed by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to take her case to a jury. Jacobs v. N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts, 4th Circ., No. 13-2212, March 12, 2015.

Does partial deafness constitute a disability under the ADAAA? The question remains unanswered.

A federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted summary judgment for a newspaper/employer who had been sued after the lay-off of a female page designer who claimed that she was let go because of her gender and her deafness in one ear. Mengel v. Reading Eagle Company, EDPA, No. 11-6151 (March 28, 2013).