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“Goldilocks” Work Environment Not Required Under the ADA

Just over two decades ago, when the ADA was in its infancy and this blogger was a summer associate heading into his final year of law school, I attended a hearing in federal court where the judge was considering a motion to dismiss the ADA claims of a plaintiff-employee.

Fear Not: Employees’ Phobias May Not Relieve Them of Essential Job Duties

From agoraphobia to xenophobia, employers should be well aware that there is a long list of phobias—including more common disorders such as social anxiety disorder—that can be considered disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Recently, however, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a $1.8 million jury verdict and ruled that a drug store chain did not violate the ADA when it terminated a pharmacist who suffered from trypanophobia—a fear of needles. The case, Stevens v. Rite Aid Corporation, No. 15-277(L) (2nd Cir. Mar. 21, 2017), arose from Rite Aid’s 2011 decision to require all pharmacists to give immunization injections to customers.

eLABORate: EEOC Files Disability Lawsuit Over Denial of Emotional Support Dog

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has filed suit in Florida federal court against a trucking company who allegedly failed to accommodate, refused to hire and retaliated against a veteran for his use of an emotional support dog for his post-traumatic stress disorder and mood disorder. The petition, filed in the Middle District of Florida, alleges that the defendant, CRST International Inc./CRST Expedited, Inc. (“CRST”) intentionally deprived Leon Laferriere of employment opportunities due to his disability.

Is Never Returning to Work a Reasonable Accommodation? Fifth Circuit Says No

On March 15, 2017, in Moss v. Harris County Constable Precinct One, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed that an employer is not required to accommodate an employee who is requesting indefinite leave as a reasonable accommodation.

Federal Court in Los Angeles Dismisses Website Accessibility Claims

On March 20, 2017, a federal district judge in Los Angeles granted Domino’s Pizza’s motion to dismiss a website accessibility lawsuit in a ruling that raises hopes for those battling the massive wave of web accessibility litigation and arguably makes it more difficult for businesses to decide between fight or flight. Robles v. Domino’s Pizza LLC, No. CV 16-6599 SJO (SPx), U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

4.5 Million Disability Discrimination Verdict Against Auto Dealer Who Failed to Investigate

A federal jury in Florida has awarded $4.5 million against an auto dealer for claims of disability discrimination under the Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA). Axel v. Fields Motorcars of Florida, Inc., No. 8:15-cv-893-17JSS (M.D. Fla. Feb. 22, 2017).

Employee Suspected of Drug Diversion Could Not Establish “Regarded as Disabled” Claim

An appellate court recently affirmed summary judgment in favor of a hospital that terminated the employment of a nurse for diverting medications, rejecting her claim that she had been perceived to be a drug addict by her employer. Demastus v. University Health System, Inc., No. E2016-00375-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. of Appeals March 2, 2017).

EEOC Claims Company Didn't Hire Veteran Over Use Of Service Dog

Last week, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against freight company CRST Expedited Inc. on behalf of a truck driver trainee who is a veteran. According to the Commission, the employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by refusing to hire the trainee because he uses an emotional support dog to manage post-traumatic stress disorder. The EEOC also claims the employer failed to discuss other potential job accommodations with the trainee and retaliated against him by dismissing him from a new driver orientation program for requesting help with his PTSD.

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.

ADA and FMLA Claims Fail for Call Center Employee Who Dropped Calls

In a published opinion, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) do not require employers to excuse an employee’s misconduct even though the conduct was related to the employee’s disability. As a result, the Tenth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in the employer’s favor on the employee’s disability discrimination claim and FMLA retaliation claim. DeWitt v. Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, No. 14-3192, Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals (January 18, 2017).