The Second Circuit recently held that an employer did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act when it refused to transfer, and then terminated, an employee because of his inability to perform his job due to migraines caused by the stress of his job. Woolf v. Strada. In this case,
Articles Discussing Particular Medical Conditions Under the ADA.
On August 20, 2019, the Ninth Circuit dodged answering the question of whether morbid obesity is a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In Valtierra v. Medtronic Inc., No. 17-15282, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant, but came short of joining the Second, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Circuits in explicitly holding that obesity cannot constitute a disability under applicable EEOC regulations unless there is evidence that the obesity is caused by an underlying physiological condition.
Today’s post highlights one of many examples of cases employers should never have to spend tens of thousands of dollars litigating.
On June 12, 2019, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling in the case of Richardson v. Chicago Transit Authority, which was the appeal of a dismissal of the case after the lower court found that obesity is not an impairment under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) absent an underlying physiological cause. An issue of first impression in the Seventh Circuit (the federal appeals court with jurisdiction over Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin), the court agreed with prior decisions in the Second, Sixth, and Eighth Circuits, and upheld the dismissal. The Seventh Circuit held that obesity is not an ADA impairment unless there is evidence of an underlying physiological cause. It also held that CTA did not perceive the plaintiff, a 596-pound bus driver, to be disabled when it terminated him due to safety issues.
Making fun of a co-worker’s weight may be rude, but is it illegal? A New Jersey court recently addressed claims of disability discrimination and hostile work environment by an employee complaining of comments made by co-workers about his weight.
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.
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.
As we have just survived one of the worst flu seasons in recent memory, now is a good time to consider whether you should implement or revise a mandatory flu shot policy for 2018. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all United States healthcare workers obtain annual flu vaccines.
Is obesity a disability?
The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) made a number of significant changes to the definition of “disability.” Much of the change had to do with making it easier for an individual to establish that he or she has a disability within the meaning of the statute. As a result employers have been accepting many more medical conditions as a covered disability and moving directly to the analysis of potential accommodations. A recent decision by the U.S. District Court in Alabama reminded us that the analysis of an employer’s obligations under the ADA must start with determining the specific functional limitations of the applicant or employee.
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.
The most famous reindeer of all may be Rudolph, but St. Nick has the lock on being the most famous driver in the entire transportation industry.
The nation’s highest Court began its new term on Monday, October 3, 2016 by, among other things, declining to review the Eighth Circuit’s ruling that an obese applicant did not have an actual or “regarded as” disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).
A memorable scene from the dark comedy “In Bruges” features a clash between a disgraced Irish assassin, played by Colin Farrell, and three portly American tourists after Farrell’s character warns them not to climb the narrow stairway to the belfry of Bruges’ iconic medieval tower. As the Americans nonetheless proceed toward the tower, he dismissively shrugs, uttering “it’s Americans, isn’t it?”
Despite the prevalence of obesity in this country, surprisingly there is no federal law that prohibits employment discrimination based on a person’s weight and only one state, Michigan, specifically makes weight discrimination illegal. Still, employers in every state should consider taking steps to avoid the potential for a weight discrimination claim, because obese individuals who decide to sue their employer may find other avenues of protection under federal law.