The Sixth Circuit’s ruling in Tinsley v. Caterpillar Fin. Servs., Corp., No. 18-5303 (6th Cir. Mar. 20, 2019) is a good reminder that not all impairments rise to the level of a “disability” within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). In addition to showing a physical or mental impairment, ADA plaintiffs also must show that the impairment “substantially limits one or more major life activities” to have a disability under the ADA.
Articles about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and other issues relating to disability discrimination in the workplace.
Dear Littler: I just learned that one of our employees has the measles. He works on a floor with 20 coworkers in an open office seating arrangement. Can I tell the other employees why he’s out so they can get tested or monitor their own health? Can I require them to receive the measles vaccine?
The Fourth Circuit has reaffirmed its position that regular and reliable attendance is an essential function of most jobs. The Court held that an employer did not violate the Rehabilitation Act by taking adverse action against an employee because of her attendance issues—even though they were caused by her mental illness. Hannah P. v. Coats, No. 17-1943 (4th Cir. Feb. 19, 2019).
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to dismiss a medical marijuana-using applicant’s disability discrimination claim because he did not state that he actually used marijuana at the time of his interview — even though he provided a copy of his medical marijuana card – and was not subjected to a drug test. Kamakeeaina v. Armstrong Produce, Ltd., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50863 (9th Cir. March 22, 2019).
Thousands of employers have received demand letters claiming their websites and apps are places of public accommodation covered by Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act and that their websites are not accessible to individuals with disabilities. What is all of this about?
If you’re like most folks, you’ve been wondering “when am I going to see a story mentioning both flesh eating bacteria and reasonable accommodation.”
In 2019, we are poised to learn where the Fourth Circuit stands on reassignment as an accommodation—an issue that has split the Circuits.
The civil penalties assessed for violations of several labor statutes have increased, according to the United States Department of Labor (DOL). The increases became effective January 23, 2019 and are consistent with the DOL’s obligations under the Inflation Adjustment Act, which requires an annual adjustment to the civil money penalty levels for inflation by January 15 each year.
Executive Summary: Many business owners have faced litigation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by disabled individuals who claim the businesses’ websites are inaccessible. Now, many plaintiffs are turning their attention to municipalities and their websites.
As of midnight December 21, 2018, 380,000 federal employees were placed on furlough. An additional 420,000 are considered “excepted” and have continued working without pay. Federal employers and employees should be aware of how the government shutdown impacts both paid time off requests as well as approved FMLA leaves.
Executive Summary: Lawsuits claiming business websites are not fully accessible to blind and visually impaired individuals continue to proliferate. Businesses often respond their websites are not required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Internet accessibility cases have begun making their way to the federal circuit courts, and the Ninth Circuit recently weighed in on the issue, holding that a pizza delivery company was required to ensure its website and mobile app are accessible as required by the ADA.
We know that the ADAAA (Amendments Act of 2008) substantially altered the landscape for review of claims asserting a disability. But are employees still required to show some sort of disorder or impairment to state a claim? Is morbid obesity an impairment even if it is not tied to any underlying disorder? A case pending before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals is set to decide whether obesity is an impairment in and of itself under the ADAAA.
Recent decisions from the Second, Fifth, and Eighth Circuit Courts of Appeals exemplify the growing consensus amongst courts that even employees with a disability are generally required to comply with company attendance policies. While employers may need to provide leave as a reasonable accommodation, many courts generally agree that regular, reliable attendance is an essential function of most jobs within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).
Just a few months ago, we wrote about a case where a federal district court denied summary judgment to an employer who had asserted that attendance at work was an essential job function. The Court held that although regular attendance at work was set out in the job description, that was not enough to obtain summary judgment. In a slight twist, today we discuss a case in which the court focused on the adequacy of the job description itself and found it lacking. For that reason and others, it denied the employer’s motion for summary judgment.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) includes within its definition of “discriminate,” an employer’s failure to provide a reasonable accommodation to a qualified individual with a disability. But, is a failure to accommodate standing alone—absent an adverse employment action—enough to establish an ADA failure-to-accommodate claim? For example, if an employer fails to accommodate a wheelchair-bound employee by refusing to move her office a few feet closer to the entrance, has the employer violated the ADA? In this scenario, assuming the facts show that traveling the extra distance is just a mere inconvenience, the answer likely depends on whether an adverse employment action is a required element of a failure-to-accommodate claim.