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"Sugar Bear" Unleashed: Employee with Emotional Disabilities May Be Entitled to Bring Comfort Animal to Work

A federal district court in Hawaii has ruled that the branch manager of a rental car company may have been discriminated against on the basis of his depression and adjustment disorder disabilities when he was terminated for an angry outburst directed at a subordinate after having been warned about similar misconduct on past occasions. Assaturian v. Hertz Corp. The final incident occurred about four months after the manager was told by his employer that he could no longer bring “Sugar Bear,” a Shih Tzu, to work with him unless he provided medical documentation establishing his need to do so. According to the manager, “Sugar Bear” was a licensed service animal that helped him control his emotions and reduce his stress. The manager had not complied with his employer’s request for documentation by the time of the incident that led to his termination, but claimed during discovery in the lawsuit that he had not had sufficient opportunity to do so. According to the managers’ co-workers, the dog was not leashed and regularly urinated on the floor.

BREAKING: 6th Circuit will rehear Ford telecommuting/reasonable accommodation case

Law 360 reports this morning that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has agreed to rehear the EEOC v. Ford Motor Co. case, which I reported on (and disagreed with) in April. The original decision, holding that Ford should have allowed an employee with severe and unpredictable irritable bowel syndrome to telecommute as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, was issued by a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit.

Sexy ADA issue: Bad breakup may not justify employer-mandated medical exam

Rarely does one get a case that involves a cutting-edge Americans with Disabilities Act issue combined with wild, crazy, passionate, irrationally exuberant, tempestuous, adulterous romance. Well, folks, today is your lucky day.

No Coverage for the Cantankerous? The Ninth Circuit Goes "Retro" In Finding "No Disability"

In Weaving v. City of Hillsboro,1 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit waxed nostalgic by reversing a jury and lower court finding that a police officer with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) had a “disability” within the meaning of the 2008 amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Ninth Circuit held that the former officer was not disabled, because his ADHD – and associated abrasive behavior toward colleagues – did not substantially limit him in the major life activities of working or interacting with others. Before the amendments to the ADA, this decision might not have been noteworthy. Given the far more expansive interpretation of “disability” under the 2008 ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), however, the Weaving case assumes the aura of a “Man Bites Dog” story by resisting the tendency of courts to err on the side of finding threshold protection under the ADAAA.

No Coverage for the Cantankerous? The Ninth Circuit Goes "Retro" In Finding "No Disability"

In Weaving v. City of Hillsboro,1 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit waxed nostalgic by reversing a jury and lower court finding that a police officer with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) had a “disability” within the meaning of the 2008 amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Ninth Circuit held that the former officer was not disabled, because his ADHD – and associated abrasive behavior toward colleagues – did not substantially limit him in the major life activities of working or interacting with others. Before the amendments to the ADA, this decision might not have been noteworthy. Given the far more expansive interpretation of “disability” under the 2008 ADA Amendmendts Act (ADAAA), however, the Weaving case assumes the aura of a “Man Bites Dog” story by resisting the tendency of courts to err on the side of finding threshold protection under the ADAAA.

How The ADA Impacts Your Hiring

Most employers understand their fundamental obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to protect against disability discrimination and to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified disabled employees, enabling them to perform essential functions of their jobs. But these obligations continue to confuse employers in practice, especially when it comes to hiring.

Healthcare Update: Work A Full Eight Hours? That's Not In My Job Description!

According to the EEOC, healthcare employers are disproportionately represented in the ranks of those sued for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Baptist Health South Florida, Inc. recently became one of those unlucky healthcare providers when the EEOC sued it for failure to accommodate a physician.

9th Circuit: Cop with ADHD Has No "Disability" Under the ADA

Here's a remainder from the Ninth Circuit that not every impairment is a "disability." And without a "disability" within the meaning of the ADA, there is no obligation to accommodate and there is no relief available for termination of employment based on a claim of disability discrimination.

Must an Employer Modify its Leave of Absence Policy to Ensure Compliance with the ADA?

Executive Summary: When is modification of a no-fault or inflexible leave of absence policy required as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? Although the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has taken the position that, absent undue hardship, an employer must modify such a policy to allow for additional leave to a disabled employee, the case law interpreting the ADA has provided no definitive guidance for determining when requests for additional leave may be unreasonable under the Act.

TELECOMMUTING AS REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION

With modern technology, many workers can perform their jobs from alternate locations, such as a home office. So, when is physical presence at the employer’s worksite an essential function of the job? In EEOC v. Ford Motor Co., the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals answered that question when it held that telecommuting may be a reasonable accommodation for an employee with a disability.