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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).

Fifth Circuit Adopts Standard in Disability Cases That Will Make it Harder for Employers to Obtain Summary Judgment

In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. LHC Group Inc., the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals evaluated a trial court’s grant of summary judgment to an employer on an employee’s disability discrimination claims. In reaching its decision on the disability discrimination claim related to the employee’s discharge, the Fifth Circuit adopted a prima facie case formulation that will likely make it more difficult for employers to obtain summary judgment in disability discrimination cases involving termination.

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.

Company’s work-from-home policy did not replace essential function of regular, predictable attendance.

A policy allowing an individual to work from home does not vitiate the fact that punctuality and predictable attendance are essential functions of a position. According to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, an employee’s ongoing tardiness – although numerous modifications had been made to her schedule and workload to allow flexibility in light of the individual’s multiple sclerosis (MS) – supported the employer’s argument that the employee was not “qualified” for the job, and led to summary judgment in the employer’s favor. Taylor-Novotny v. Health Alliance Medical Plans, Inc. 7th Cir., No. 13-3652, November 26, 2014.

Worker Failed to Show Pretext Following Contract Nonrenewal

The district court properly dismissed a former employee’s retaliation claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) because she failed to prove that the employer’s performance-based reasons for her termination were a pretext for discrimination, the First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. Collazo-Rosado v. University of Puerto Rico, No. 13-1641 (September 2, 2014).

Jerk Isn't Disabled: However, Can They be Lawfully Terminated

Myra Creighton’s article “Jerk Isn’t Disabled: However, Can They be Lawfully Terminated?” was featured in Legal and Compliance Excellence Magazine on December 9, 2014.

Zero Tolerance for Marijuana Use by Employees: A Prescription for Litigation?

Executive Summary: The dramatic inconsistency between federal and state law with regard to the use of marijuana may mean that employers with zero tolerance policies for marijuana use will face an increasing likelihood of litigation over the termination of employees who violate such policies.

Biggest Loser Contests at Work? Only If They Pass Muster With the EEOC

We are again running a Biggest Loser Contest among our 31 offices and will award prizes, beginning at $1,000, to individuals who lose the most weight.

Wal-mart, EEOC reach accord in drug test accommodation lawsuit

Laura Jones was offered a sales job at the Wal-Mart store in Cockeysville, Maryland, and was told that she would have to take a drug test.

Disability Access Litigation on the Rise

In an article published recently in The Wall Street Journal (“Disability Lawsuits Against Small Businesses Soar,” October 15, 2014), staff writer Angus Loten reported that accessibility lawsuits brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) against public accommodations increased by nearly 55 percent in the first six months of 2014 as compared to the number of filings in the same period in 2013. This increase follows a reported 9 percent increase in disability access lawsuits from 2012 to 2013. The article also reported that many of the lawsuits were brought in California, New York, and Florida.