Fisher & Phillips, LLP • May 23, 2013
In psychiatry, unlike other branches of medicine, there is no laboratory test that can confirm the existence of a particular mental disorder. Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals rely on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, known as "DSM-5" to diagnose patients. The American Psychiatric Association has just released a new fifth edition of the manual and human resources executives should take note. It contains new diagnostic categories not listed in its predecessor and loosens the criteria for some diagnoses which will likely result in more people qualifying for these diagnoses. DSM-5 is likely to impact HR by expanding the number of employees who will qualify as disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act and be entitled to reasonable accommodation.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • May 20, 2013
Pursuant to the agency’s Strategic Plan, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has revised and updated four disability guidance documents. Among other goals outlined in the Strategic Plan is to ensure the EEOC “provides up-to-date guidance on the requirements of antidiscrimination laws.” To that end, the agency has made available revised question and answer documents on how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to applicants and employees with cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, and intellectual disabilities.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • May 17, 2013
Littler’s Patrick H. Hicks and Hilary B. Muckleroy discuss an overall increase in disability discrimination claims. They highlight hidden dangers in leaves of absences, reasonable accommodation, operational concerns and best practices.
Franczek Radelet P.C • May 15, 2013
When is it appropriate to require an employee to complete a medical examination? This question presents a common challenge for employers. A federal court of appeals recently issued a decision that helps clarify an employer’s rights to seek a medical opinion when it is concerned about workplace safety. In Owusu-Ansah v. Coca-Cola Company, the Eleventh Circuit found that an employee’s threatening comments and behavior during a meeting with a supervisor were legitimate reasons to mandate that the employee pass a fitness-for-duty examination before returning to work.
Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP • April 30, 2013
The courts continue to explore the contours of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Here’s a diamond mine, full of gems for plaintiffs lawyers, from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals: a March 4 decision in McMillan v. City of New York.
Ogletree Deakins • April 22, 2013
A federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted summary judgment for a newspaper/employer who had been sued after the lay-off of a female page designer who claimed that she was let go because of her gender and her deafness in one ear. Mengel v. Reading Eagle Company, EDPA, No. 11-6151 (March 28, 2013).
Ogletree Deakins • April 15, 2013
Is the ability to be licensed to drive a commercial vehicle an “essential function” of a warehouse manager’s position, even though that manager rarely is required to drive? According to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, that answer depends largely upon the job description developed by the employer, and not on the employee’s specific personal experience in the job. Knutson v. Schwan’s Home Service, Inc., 8th Cir., No. 12-2240, (April 3, 2013).
Ogletree Deakins • April 08, 2013
In a non-precedential opinion, the 3d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a hospital’s firing of a security guard who had admitted that he was a recovering drug addict. Because that firing was based upon the fact that the employee previously had denied prior drug or alcohol addition/treatment, the court found that the hospital’s reason for the termination – the employee’s dishonest disclosure – was not a pretext for discrimination. Reilly v. Lehigh Valley Hospital, 3d Cir., No. 12-2078, March 29, 2013.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • April 08, 2013
Although former drug addicts are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Third Circuit recently held that a hospital legitimately fired a recovering drug addict who lied about his treatment when he was hired. The court’s determination in Robert Reilly v. Lehigh Valley Hospital emphasizes the importance of basing adverse employment decisions on legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons, and following proper protocol with respect to an employee’s health information.
Jackson Lewis LLP • April 08, 2013
Deafness in one ear is not a disability under the American with Disabilities Act, as amended by the ADA Amendments Act, because the plaintiff could not establish she was substantially limited in the major life activity of hearing, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has ruled in Mengel v. Reading Eagle Co., No. 11-6151 (E.D. Penn. Mar. 29, 2013).