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Share WCAG 2.0 AA Gains Prominence as Website Accessibility Standard

The U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) finalized a regulation this week that will make the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) Level AA the design standard when interpreting and implementing Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which requires federal agencies and contractors to make their websites accessible to disabled individuals. Affected federal agencies and contractors will have one year from the publication of the final rule to comply with the revised 508 standards, which would place the compliance deadline sometime in early 2018.

Not Phoning It In: Telecommuting Accommodations and the ADA

In Quentin Tarantino's classic film, "Pulp Fiction," two hitmen, Jules and Vincent (played by Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta), find themselves in a farcical and escalating "mess" – requiring the advice of a "fixer" known as "The Wolf" (played by Harvey Keitel). The Wolf arrives at the scene, assesses the situation with cool detachment, and develops a detailed plan to extricate Jules and Vincent from their unsavory dilemma. Imagine "The Wolf" insisting on phoning in his assistance instead of working in person with Jules and Vincent. Would he have been as effective? In this podcast, we discuss how agile work and employee requests to work from home implicate obligations under employment laws – specifically the Americans with Disabilities Act and other non-discrimination laws.

Federal Contractors Not the Only Ones with Disability Goals

Federal agencies soon will be required to engage in affirmative outreach for individuals with disabilities. The final rule issued by EEOC on December 30, 2016, will require federal agencies to take steps to increase the number of its employees that are individuals with disabilities beginning in January 2018.

Saying Goodbye to 2016 – It’s Been Quite the Year!

2016 has come to an end and it’s been busy year for disability leave management issues. The year has seen a variety of new developments, including issuance of additional guidance from administrative agencies, new leave and benefit related laws, and a slew of court opinions.

Fido Can’t Help Ring in the New Year (Unless He’s a True Service Animal)

Individuals wishing to begin the new year by taking a beloved pet or emotional support animal out to a restaurant may run into new legal deterrents in some states. While the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) entitles people with disabilities to bring “service animals” into public places such as restaurants and stores, many individuals do not realize which animals the law covers.

Court: Employees Seeking Accommodation Must Compete For Reassignment

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a disabled worker forced to leave her position because of her physical impairment must compete for vacant jobs when seeking reassignment, handing a victory to her former employer. By concluding that employers have no obligation to provide preferential treatment to individuals with disabilities when attempting to accommodate them via reassignment, the court decision runs in direct conflict with various other circuits – and the EEOC – which have ruled otherwise. Unless and until the Supreme Court steps in to resolve the circuit split, employers must be sure to carefully navigate the various standards that exist across the country when accommodating their employees.

Eighth Circuit Leaves Open the Question of Whether a “Mixed-Motive” or “But-For” Causation Standard Should be Applied to Disability Discrimination Claims Under the ADA

On December 22, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued an opinion in the case of Oehmke v. Medtronic, Inc., Case No. 16-1052, affirming the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant/employer on plaintiff’s claims of disability discrimination and retaliation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA).

EEOC Explains ADA Rights Available to Employees With Mental Health Conditions

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has published a document explaining the workplace rights and protections under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) that are available to employees and job applicants who have mental health conditions: Depression, PTSD, & Other Mental Health Conditions in the Workplace: Your Legal Rights. The resource, which is in a user-friendly question-and-answer format, also serves as a reminder to employers of the actions against such individuals that are considered discriminatory and illegal under the ADA.

EEOC Releases New “Resource Document” On Mental Health Conditions under the ADA

On December 12, 2016, the EEOC issued a new Q&A style document entitled “Depression, PTSD, & Other Mental Health Conditions in the Workplace: Your Legal Rights.”

EEOC Issues Guidance on Mental Health Conditions in the Workplace

On December 12, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published a resource document titled, “Depression, PTSD, & Other Mental Health Conditions in the Workplace: Your Legal Rights,” which summarizes the rights of individuals with mental health conditions under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The resource document, drafted in a basic Q&A format, addresses workers' rights to protection against discrimination and harassment because of mental health conditions, privacy regarding mental health information, and reasonable accommodation in the performance of job functions.