Total Articles: 30
Jackson Lewis P.C. • November 19, 2018
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.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • August 01, 2018
A recent Third Circuit case, Sessoms v. Trs. Of the Univ. of Pa., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16611 (3rd Cir. June 20, 2018), serves as a reminder that while the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees, it does not obligate an employer to provide the accommodation requested by the employee. An employer may choose among reasonable accommodations as long as the chosen accommodation is effective
Ogletree Deakins • May 18, 2018
ven something as simple as a statement that an employee has changed his or her medications can be treated as notice from an employee that an accommodation might be needed. An employee need not use any particular words or phrasing to request an accommodation; he or she need not even use the word “accommodation.” The key is that the employee has given his or her manager notice that a health condition may be affecting the employee’s ability to do his or her job. Employers may want to train managers to recognize these types of statements as notice that a reasonable accommodation may be needed and initiate the interactive process upon hearing such statements.
In a packed room at the 2018 SHRM Employment Law and Legislative Conference in Washington D.C., Eric Meyer of FisherBroyles, LLP provided practical guidance for HR Professionals so that they can handle an ADA accommodation situation at their organization.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • October 24, 2017
I read a New Yorker article about people bringing their dogs everywhere, claiming they were emotional support animals. It mentioned a dog trying to get into Carnegie Hall. But everyone knows there’s only one way to get there: Practice.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • September 04, 2017
Make no mistake about it: ADA compliance can be challenging. This is especially true when it comes to providing reasonable accommodation. Not uncommonly, managers wanting to do the right thing actually provide more than the law requires. Although well-intentioned, this practice often leads to conflict if more generous accommodations are later scaled back. Thankfully, a recent decision by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals supports the notion that employers should not be penalized for going beyond their legal obligations.
Goldberg Segalla LLP • August 14, 2017
Marijuana laws are evolving in the US. Marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act, and has no accepted medical use under federal law.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • July 25, 2017
Many businesses use temporary workers placed by staffing agencies. But who is responsible when a temporary worker requests a disability accommodation? The staffing agency and the business could both be responsible if they are acting as “joint employers” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Jackson Lewis P.C. • July 21, 2017
On July 17, 2017 the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that under the Massachusetts Anti-Discrimination law an employer may be required to accommodate an employee who is a current user of medical marijuana regardless of the employer’s drug free workplace and drug testing policies. While this decision is binding only in Massachusetts, it could represent the beginning of a significant shift in how employers will need to deal with employees using marijuana to treat a disability.
Ogletree Deakins • March 08, 2017
In a published opinion, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) do not require employers to excuse an employee’s misconduct even though the conduct was related to the employee’s disability. As a result, the Tenth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in the employer’s favor on the employee’s disability discrimination claim and FMLA retaliation claim. DeWitt v. Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, No. 14-3192, Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals (January 18, 2017).
Jackson Lewis P.C. • February 01, 2017
In case your news and twitter accounts are down, and you otherwise have not heard the news… President Trump has nominated Judge Gorsuch from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s vacant Supreme Court seat.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 31, 2017
What are employers to do if an employee has not provided a doctor’s note to continue his or her leave and the initial end date for that leave has passed?
Fisher Phillips • January 26, 2017
A federal appeals court upheld the termination of an employee who tried to blame her misconduct on her disability during the termination meeting itself. The court ruled that “retroactive leniency” was not a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and therefore the employer had no obligation to apply the brakes to its ongoing disciplinary process despite the employee’s pleas.
Ogletree Deakins • January 03, 2017
Individuals wishing to begin the new year by taking a beloved pet or emotional support animal out to a restaurant may run into new legal deterrents in some states. While the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) entitles people with disabilities to bring “service animals” into public places such as restaurants and stores, many individuals do not realize which animals the law covers.
Ogletree Deakins • November 02, 2016
In contrast to Parker v. Crete Carrier Corporation, et al, in Kowitz v. Trinity Health, et al, No. 15-1584 (October 17, 2016), a split panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment for an employer on an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claim, finding a factual dispute about whether the employer knew the employee needed an accommodation despite the absence of a formal request for accommodation.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • October 26, 2016
It is common gospel that when a qualified disabled employee requests accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), both employer and employee must engage in an interactive dialogue to discuss the options.
Franczek Radelet P.C • October 20, 2016
A divided federal appeals court recently reminded employers that an employee’s request for a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) need not be explicit in order to invoke the interactive accommodation process. In Kowitz v. Trinity Health, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals found that, based on the circumstances presented in the case, an employee had made an implied request for a reasonable accommodation.
Franczek Radelet P.C • June 29, 2016
Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of conducting a webinar with EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum on the topic of “leave” as an ADA reasonable accommodation in light of the EEOC’s new technical resource issued on this topic in early May 2016. If you missed the program, you can access the webinar and materials here. In addition to covering information contained in the EEOC’s new resource document, we also identified some practical approaches in determining whether and how much leave employers are obligated to provide when it comes to the ADA.
Franczek Radelet P.C • May 10, 2016
For years, employers across America have been clamoring for guidance from the EEOC about how they should manage an employee’s request for extended or intermittent leave from work and how much leave is considered as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. This week, employers received an answer.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • October 12, 2015
A recently settled lawsuit brought by the EEOC against an Arizona trucking company highlights the importance for companies to always consider unpaid leave as a reasonable accommodation and to ensure their managers and supervisors are trained on all federal, state and local discrimination laws.
Ogletree Deakins • September 18, 2015
It’s true in other areas of employment law as well, but in the world of disability discrimination law there are numerous phrases that have taken on special meaning and become true terms of art. Even those who are well-versed in other areas of employment law and HR often find it difficult to understand the meaning of some of these commonly-used words and phrases. Supervisors and HR personnel who do not understand the meaning of these key phrases may end up failing to comply with the strict rules and regulations of state and federal disability laws.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • August 05, 2015
Sometimes it seems an employer has done a lot to accommodate an employee under the ADA, yet the employee claims the employer should have done more. The Seventh Circuit addressed such a situation in Swanson v. Village of Flossmoor (7th Cir. July 24, 2015).
Fisher Phillips • April 16, 2014
Employers must understand their accommodation obligations. Denying an accommodation request because the employee is not disabled is a risky proposition.
Goldberg Segalla LLP • January 21, 2014
On January 13, the Seventh Circuit issued an opinion in Spurling v. C&M Fine Pack, Inc., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 660, reversing an Indiana District Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the employer on a narcoleptic employee’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claim, but affirming the dismissal of the employee’s Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) claims. It is a case with clear implications for employers regarding the ADA and the FMLA.
Ogletree Deakins • January 21, 2013
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently addressed an issue of first impression, finding that the ability to hear is not necessarily an “essential function” of the job of lifeguard. Keith v. County of Oakland, 6th Cir., No. 11-2276, January 10, 2013. In addition, however, the Court made a number of other, more generally applicable observations. The most noteworthy is a statement that seems to create an obligation on the part of an employer to fully understand the background and experience of any expert who is relied upon to assist in determining whether a disabled individual can be accommodated in a particular position.
Franczek Radelet P.C • July 18, 2012
Recently, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia held that a successor employer lawfully refused to continue granting an accommodation made by its predecessor.
Ogletree Deakins • October 08, 2010
Which brings me, long way round so to speak, to the report in Eau Claire Leader Telegram of Tuesday's verdict in a Madison, Wisconsin trial of a teacher's disability claim. Former Somerset teacher wins $2 million lawsuit.
Fisher Phillips • June 02, 2009
Imagine a big night at your restaurant: the place is packed with guests, all enjoying themselves. A diner shows up with an unexpected companion – a dog. You're concerned about health regulations and the effect on other patrons. Politely but firmly you tell the guest she cannot enter with the dog. Either it stays outside or she does. Any problem? Yes. You've just politely but firmly violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Ogletree Deakins • August 05, 2008
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that employers engage in an "interactive process" with employees to determine whether an employee's disability can be reasonably accommodated. A federal appellate court recently held that an employer failed to engage in this process when it did not initiate the issue of accommodation with an employee whom it allegedly perceived to be disabled.
Ogletree Deakins • July 16, 2008
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that employers engage in an “interactive process” and to work together with disabled employees to determine whether an employee’s disability can be reasonably accommodated. Recently, the 2d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that Wal-Mart failed to engage in this process when it did not initiate the issue of accommodation with an employee whom it perceived to be disabled. Brady v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, et al, 2d Circ., No. 06-5486-cv, July 2, 2008.