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Total Articles: 11

The Interactive Process Is a Two-Way Street: Ninth Circuit Finds Employee’s Inadequate Effort Doomed ADA Claim

“Once an employer becomes aware of the need for accommodation, that employer has a mandatory obligation under the ADA to engage in an interactive process with the employee to identify and implement appropriate reasonable accommodations.” Nonetheless, in a recent opinion, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals clarified that the interactive process requires direct communication on both sides, between the employer and employee, to explore in good faith the possible accommodations. Phillips v. Victor Community Support Services, Inc., No. 15-15862, Unpublished (July 3, 2017).

Employers Should Engage In the Interactive Process Even If They Believe the Employee Is Not Qualified.

Diligent and well informed employers know that it is the best practice to engage in an individualized assessment of a requested accommodation. Sometimes an employer may be tempted to refuse to discuss an accommodation because it doesn’t believe that the request is reasonable or because the employee is not “qualified.” It should resist the temptation.

Employee’s failure to actively engage in interactive process supports dismissal of ADA claim.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires both a disabled employee and her employer to work interactively to identify reasonable accommodations for the disabled employee. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has underscored that requirement by dismissing the claims of an individual who, it found, failed to engage fully in the interactive process. Brown v. Milwaukee Board of School Directors, No. 16-1971, 7th Circuit, May 4, 2017.

How much “interactive process” is enough to preclude ADA liability?

To support a failure-to-accommodate claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a plaintiff must establish both a prima facie case of discrimination and an employer’s failure to accommodate it.

Your Compliance Toolbox: 7 Tips for a Successful Interactive Process

Dealing with issues related to accommodation requests at work can be a daunting task—even for the most seasoned HR or legal professional. The path to a successful interactive process and a meaningful analysis of an accommodation request is fraught with landmines at every turn. Though professionals are required to use judgment and perform an individualized assessment for each new accommodation request, there are some protocols employers can use as a guideline each time the need arises.

Employee’s Failure to Participate in Interactive Process Dooms ADA Claim

A diabetic employee who quit her job in response to her employer’s rejection of her suggested “reasonable accommodation” cannot support claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), according to the First Circuit Court of Appeals, because she failed to participate in the interactive process in good faith. EEOC v. Kohl’s Dep’t Stores, Inc., No. 14-1268 (December 19, 2014).

Employee cannot claim lack of accommodation after quitting her job during the interactive process.

A diabetic employee who quit her job in response to the employer’s rejection of her suggested “reasonable accommodation” cannot support claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), because she failed to participate in the interactive process in good faith, according to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. EEOC v. Kohl’s Dep’t Stores, Inc., 1st Cir., No. 14-1268, December 19 2014.

Interactive process is crucial element of analysis in disability discrimination cases.

A recent ruling by the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico clarifies that Law 44, Puerto Rico’s counterpart to the federal American with Disabilities Act (ADA), applies only to employers and does not provide for individual liability. Accordingly, claims brought against individual defendants under Law 44 are subject to dismissal.

What's An "Individualized Analysis" – And Why Should I Care?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) poses ongoing compliance challenges and attracts significant attention from plaintiffs' lawyers and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The resulting litigation continues to illustrate that inflexible policies and practices are a recipe for disaster.

Supervisor’s Failure to Engage in Interactive Process with Disabled Employee May Convert Employee’s Resignation into Constructive Discharge

In a case recently decided under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)—Suvada v. Gordon Flesch Company, Inc.—a federal district court in Chicago allowed a production clerk’s claim for constructive discharge against her former employer, an office-services company, to proceed to trial.

Plaintiff must request an accommodation that allows him to perform the essential functions of the job in order to support ADA claim.

A medical resident with Asperger’s Disorder was unable to meet his burden, in his ADA lawsuit against his hospital employer, that he was “otherwise qualified” for his position. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld summary judgment in favor of the hospital, because the resident’s requested accommodation - that the hospital physician and staff be educated on the symptoms and triggers of Asperger’s - did not address the key obstacle preventing him from performing a necessary function of his job, or resolve his inability to fulfill his responsibilities as a hospital resident.
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