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Pressing Questions on Reasonable Accommodations under the ADA and FMLA

Navigating employee disability issues and providing reasonable accommodations is often incredibly challenging for employers who must comply with the ADA, FMLA and various state and local laws.

Plaintiff With PTSD Not Disabled Under The ADA, Sixth Circuit Rules

The Sixth Circuit’s ruling in Tinsley v. Caterpillar Fin. Servs., Corp., No. 18-5303 (6th Cir. Mar. 20, 2019) is a good reminder that not all impairments rise to the level of a “disability” within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). In addition to showing a physical or mental impairment, ADA plaintiffs also must show that the impairment “substantially limits one or more major life activities” to have a disability under the ADA.

Share and Share Alike: Sharing Essential Job Functions May Qualify as a Reasonable Accommodation

On April 1, 2019, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois denied summary judgment in an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) case, determining that occasionally excusing employees from performing certain job functions does not render the function nonessential and finding that sharing tasks may be a reasonable accommodation. Schiller v. Northern Suburban Special Recreation District, No. 17 C 8514.

I Hate My Boss: Sixth Circuit Shuts Down ADA Request for Less Stressful Boss

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently reminded employers that, even under the more liberal standard for establishing a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), an employee who claims he or she cannot perform the major life activity of “working” has to do more than prove a substantial limitation in working in a single specific job. The employee must prove his or her impairment limits the ability to perform “a class of jobs or a broad range of jobs.”

Hold The Phone...Full-Time Attendance Is Not An Essential Function Of The Job!

Understandably, many employers often maintain full-time attendance is an essential function of the job. In some ways this thinking makes sense – if employees are not present at work how can they do their job? But, with improvements in technology and the opportunity to work remotely or on a reduced schedule, savvy employers know this topic is no longer so cut and dry.

Dear Littler: An employee was diagnosed with the measles. What do we do now?

Dear Littler: I just learned that one of our employees has the measles. He works on a floor with 20 coworkers in an open office seating arrangement. Can I tell the other employees why he’s out so they can get tested or monitor their own health? Can I require them to receive the measles vaccine?

Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability: Is it Time for Contractors to Resurvey Their Workforces?

The regulations that updated Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 took effect on March 24, 2014. These updates required federal contractors and subcontractors to invite their employees to voluntarily self-identify their status as an individual with a disability using the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ (OFCCP) official invitation, Form CC-305. They further require that contractors resurvey their workforces at least once every five years, as well as issue at least one reminder between invitations. So it may be time for many contractors and subcontractors to conduct their resurvey if they have not already recently done so.

Pre-Employment Tests: Best Practices to Minimize Risks

While pre-employment tests can be a useful tool in the hiring process, such tests are susceptible to legal challenges and employers should exercise diligence in implementing and validating these tests. In this episode, Rae Gross and Sarah Kuehnel explore the legal parameters of pre-employment testing and provide best practices for ensuring these tests withstand legal scrutiny.

2nd Circuit: Hostile Environment Claim Allowed Under ADA

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an employee can assert a hostile work environment claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The court - which covers Connecticut, New York and Vermont - noted that it was persuaded by the reasoning of the 4th, 5th, 8th and 10th Circuit Courts, all of which hold that "hostile work environment claims are cognizable under the ADA."

Fourth Circuit Reaffirms That Regular, Reliable Attendance Is Essential Function Of Most Jobs

The Fourth Circuit has reaffirmed its position that regular and reliable attendance is an essential function of most jobs. The Court held that an employer did not violate the Rehabilitation Act by taking adverse action against an employee because of her attendance issues—even though they were caused by her mental illness. Hannah P. v. Coats, No. 17-1943 (4th Cir. Feb. 19, 2019).