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Total Articles: 12

Whopper of a Tale: Burger King Employee Denied Accommodation

Employees should feel safe at work. But not everyone is that fortunate, including an assistant manager at a Burger King who was attacked at gunpoint when attempting to make a bank deposit on behalf of his employer. He allegedly suffered from PTSD and depression. Burger King denied his request for an accommodation by changing his work schedule prompting an interesting decision.

Restraining Unruly Children as an Essential Job Element: Expected in Secondary Schools but Not at a Youth Detention Center? A Cautionary Tale in the ADA Reasonable Accommodation Arena

n a recent blog post, I discussed the fact that under the reasonable accommodation provisions of the ADA, employers generally are not required to provide their employees with a stress-free work environment or one that possesses a “just right” amount of stress, which I referred to as a Goldilocks work environment

Reasonable Accommodation Tested by Principal

Is it reasonable for an Assistant Principal to return to her job if she has medical restrictions that prohibit her from interacting with potentially unruly students? The 7th Circuit examined this situation in Brown v. Milwaukee Bd. of Sch. Directors, which addresses “reasonable accommodations” under the ADA. Of course, the ADA requires employers to make “reasonable accommodations” that will allow a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of her job. So what is a reasonable accommodation? It depends on the company, the essential functions of the job, and the medical restrictions of the applicant or employee.

Can Fido Come to Work? EEOC Files Suit to Require Emotional Support Dog on Truck Route

It’s true. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is taking the position that an emotional support animal may be a required reasonable accommodation in the workplace.

Employee Seeking a Less Stressful Work Environment Denied ADA Protections

In a case addressing a challenging accommodation scenario faced by many employers, a Florida District Court held in Hargett v. Florida Atlantic University Board of Trustees that an employee seeking a less stressful environment and an end to hostile confrontations with her manager was not seeking a reasonable accommodation. The employee suffered from epilepsy with seizures brought on by high tension and stress. She demanded as a reasonable accommodation that her supervisor cease his “hostile confrontations” with her. She also requested that her employer provide her with “calm, fair, non-confrontational treatment.”

“Aberrant” behavior by a police officer supported employer’s decision not to return the officer to work after brain surgery .

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held that under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an employer may rely on a credible, scientifically-based medical opinion to exclude someone from returning to work, even if that opinion is contradicted by another medical provider’s opinion.

Employer must consider job restructuring if such restructuring would accommodate disabled employee without undue hardship.

Job restructuring is one of the accommodations that an employer must consider under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its regulations. Recently, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that if a minor adjustment to the work duties of a few other nursing home employees would have enabled the home’s hairdresser to perform the duty of pushing her customers’ wheelchairs to hairdressing appointments despite her disability, the nursing home’s refusal to consider making that adjustment was unlawful. Kaufmann v. Petersen Health Care VII, LLC, 7th Cir., 2014, No. 13-3661 (October 16, 2014).

Legal Alert: Fifth Circuit Says Designated Parking Space May Be Reasonable Accommodation

Executive Summary: The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a request for a reserved, free on-site parking space could have been a request for a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) even though parking did not relate to the performance of the employee's essential job functions. See Feist v. State of Louisiana, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 19133 (5th Cir. Sept. 16, 2013).

Employer has no obligation to provide "light duty" assignment under FMLA or ADA.

The use of light duty assignments to employees who are returning to work after recuperation from an illness or injury is an often used mechanism. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held that neither the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) nor the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) creates an obligation for an employer to provide light duty work to an individual who is unable – with or without accommodation – to return to the essential functions of his job. James v. Hyatt Regency Chicago, 7th Cir., No. 1:09-cv-07873, February 13, 2013.

Request for Straight Day Shift Not a Reasonable Accommodation

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) did not require a power company to grant a diabetic employee’s request to work a straight day shift. (Kallail v. Alliant Energy Corporate Servs. Inc.) The employee was employed as one of several “resource coordinators” who monitor power distribution and schedule and route resources to respond to routine and emergency situations such as power outages. To provide 24/7 coverage, resource coordinators are required to work a schedule rotating between eight and 12-hour shifts, days and nights. As an insulin-dependent diabetic, the employee began experiencing erratic changes in her blood pressure and blood sugar which put her at higher risk for diabetic complications and death, a development her physician attributed to her work schedule. The employee asked to be accommodated with a straight day shift.

Virginia Federal Court Finds Hospital Not Required to Accommodate ER Nurse’s Lifting Restrictions

A Virginia district court has held, once again, that a hospital does not have to accommodate a nurse whose disability causes lifting restrictions so extensive that, in effect, she cannot perform the essential functions of her position.

Ninth Circuit weighs in on assistance with commuting as a reasonable accommodation.

Earlier this year, and in a case of first impression, the 3d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an employee’s claim that her employer violated the ADA by refusing to change her work shift after she reported commuting difficulties based upon a visual impairment that made it difficult for her to drive at night. Now, in an unpublished opinion, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a similar decision. In that case, the Court reversed a decision in favor of an employer, allowing an individual’s claim to go to trial on the issue of whether the company failed to accommodate the employee’s visual impairment when it refused to modify her work schedule to daylight only hours.