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Is Your Website Accessible to the Blind and Visually Impaired? Plaintiffs' Firms and the Department of Justice Are Taking Notice

For years, we have been documenting the rise in wage/hour class action lawsuits and precautionary steps your organization may take to mitigate the risks and liability inherent in those claims. And, while wage/hour lawsuits continue to be filed at record rates, the plaintiffs' bar is now flirting with a new type of class action lawsuit which poses a threat to any employer that operates a website. These lawsuits allege that company websites are inaccessible to the blind and/or visually impaired and therefore violate Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and various states’ laws.

An Employee's "Hope" That She'll Return to Work Isn't Enough to Require Additional Leave under the ADA

One of the most difficult issues an HR professional or in-house employment counsel faces is how to deal with an employee who cannot return to work after FMLA leave expires. Is additional leave beyond 12 weeks required? The answer is almost always ‘yes.’ But how much leave are we obligated to provide? And what if the employee already has taken months of leave and doesn’t really know when she’ll return?

Employers, the ADA interactive process applies to post-offer medical examination, too

True or false: A rotator cuff injury is a "disability" within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Serial Accommodation Lawsuits Against Restaurants

Earlier this year, we reported on a spike in the number of ADA public accommodation lawsuits being filed against businesses in Illinois. (FR Alert: Wave of ADA Public Accommodation Lawsuits Continues to Spread, Hits Illinois.) Barely a week into the new year, it is clear that this trend is not going away in 2016. On January 5 and 6, a single “tester” plaintiff filed at least eleven new lawsuits against retailers and restaurants in the Chicago metro area. It is a safe bet that there will be more to follow from this plaintiff and others.

T.J. Simers 7M discrimination verdict: Easy come, easy go?

Former sports columnist T.J. Simers sued the Los Angeles Times for age and disability discrimination, among other things, when he quit his job in 2013. The Times had allegedly demoted him (although with no cut in his salary in excess of $200,000 a year) when he was 63 years old and after he’d allegedly suffered a mini-stroke.

“Aberrant” behavior by a police officer supported employer’s decision not to return the officer to work after brain surgery .

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held that under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an employer may rely on a credible, scientifically-based medical opinion to exclude someone from returning to work, even if that opinion is contradicted by another medical provider’s opinion.

Do I or Don't I?—Alcoholism and Accommodations in the Workplace

Any college football fan can attest that this has been quite the year for upsets. As interesting as the on-field action has been, we have seen increasing media attention and fan commentary focused on the action off the field—especially on the activities of college football coaches and players.

Trojan travails: Coach Sarkisian’s alcoholism-discrimination lawsuit against USC

Readers have been clamoring for my take on the alcoholism-discrimination lawsuit filed by Steve Sarkisian against the University of Southern California.

EEOC provides ADA guidance for employees’ doctors

he Equal Employment Opportunity Commission came out this week with some guidance about the rights of individuals with AIDS and HIV. The guidance is unremarkable for anyone who is familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act, although it never hurts to get a refresher, and in any event it’s aimed at employees, not employers.

“Deaf Culture” Expert to Testify at Trial? Judge Allows EEOC to Test the Limits

In the last couple of years, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has prosecuted at least 12 lawsuits on behalf of deaf or hard-of-hearing employees or job applicants. And, within the last 10 years, the U.S. Department of Justice has litigated and/or settled close to 40 cases involving the failure to adequately accommodate deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals under Titles II or III of the ADA. A jury trial in one such case brought by the EEOC started this week in Sacramento, California. The case includes a claim that, while the employer previously provided an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter for the employee at certain times during the workday, a new manager provided only “fingerspelling” (i.e., the actual spelling of words, letter by letter) instead of ASL for communication.