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Unsettled Waters at the Accommodation of Last Resort

In 2019, we are poised to learn where the Fourth Circuit stands on reassignment as an accommodation—an issue that has split the Circuits.

Increased Department of Labor Penalties for Labor Violations

The civil penalties assessed for violations of several labor statutes have increased, according to the United States Department of Labor (DOL). The increases became effective January 23, 2019 and are consistent with the DOL's obligations under the Inflation Adjustment Act, which requires an annual adjustment to the civil money penalty levels for inflation by January 15 each year.

Municipal Liability Under the ADA for Website Inaccessibility

Executive Summary: Many business owners have faced litigation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by disabled individuals who claim the businesses’ websites are inaccessible. Now, many plaintiffs are turning their attention to municipalities and their websites.

How the Government Shutdown Impacts Employee Leave Requests

As of midnight December 21, 2018, 380,000 federal employees were placed on furlough. An additional 420,000 are considered “excepted” and have continued working without pay. Federal employers and employees should be aware of how the government shutdown impacts both paid time off requests as well as approved FMLA leaves.

Ninth Circuit Weighs in On Website Accessibility Obligations

Executive Summary: Lawsuits claiming business websites are not fully accessible to blind and visually impaired individuals continue to proliferate. Businesses often respond their websites are not required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Internet accessibility cases have begun making their way to the federal circuit courts, and the Ninth Circuit recently weighed in on the issue, holding that a pizza delivery company was required to ensure its website and mobile app are accessible as required by the ADA.

Federal Court of Appeals To Decide Whether Morbid Obesity Is An Impairment

We know that the ADAAA (Amendments Act of 2008) substantially altered the landscape for review of claims asserting a disability. But are employees still required to show some sort of disorder or impairment to state a claim? Is morbid obesity an impairment even if it is not tied to any underlying disorder? A case pending before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals is set to decide whether obesity is an impairment in and of itself under the ADAAA.

Indefinite Leave? A No-Go In The Federal Third Circuit!!

Indefinite leave is a thorn in the side of many employers. Oftentimes, employers have an employee out on leave who receives a doctor’s note that says the leave is indefinite. What is an employer to do? Sticking your head in the sand is certainly not recommended. The Third Circuit is one more Circuit to agree that indefinite leaves are not a reasonable accommodation.

Appellate Courts Agree: Regular, Reliable Attendance Is Essential Function of Most Jobs

Recent decisions from the Second, Fifth, and Eighth Circuit Courts of Appeals exemplify the growing consensus amongst courts that even employees with a disability are generally required to comply with company attendance policies. While employers may need to provide leave as a reasonable accommodation, many courts generally agree that regular, reliable attendance is an essential function of most jobs within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).

Employers Can Now Apply Online to Employ Workers With Disabilities at Subminimum Wages

Employers can now apply online for permission to employ workers with disabilities at subminimum wages instead of mailing in a paper application.

Employers Asserting “Essential Job Function” Defense Need a Clear Job Description.

Just a few months ago, we wrote about a case where a federal district court denied summary judgment to an employer who had asserted that attendance at work was an essential job function. The Court held that although regular attendance at work was set out in the job description, that was not enough to obtain summary judgment. In a slight twist, today we discuss a case in which the court focused on the adequacy of the job description itself and found it lacking. For that reason and others, it denied the employer’s motion for summary judgment.