Archives: ADA

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Employer’s Ultimatum Supports Employee’s ADA Failure to Accommodate Claim

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama in McClain v. Tenax Corp. recently denied in part an employer’s motion for summary judgment on a disabled employee’s failure to accommodate claim under the ADA.  The Court held the ADA-required interactive process never took place where the employer’s issued an ultimatum to the … Continue Reading

Medical Residency Program Demonstrates Importance of Documenting and Consistently Applying Job Requirements

In Rodrigo v. Carle Foundation Hospital, No.16-1403 (7th Cir.), plaintiff was a medical resident in a three-year residency program (the “Program”).  In addition to completing certain rotations and passing parts one and two of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (“USMLE”) or (“Step 1” and “Step 2,” respectively), residents were required to pass Step 3 … Continue Reading

Inclement Weather May Require Employers To Warm To Reasonable Accommodations

To enable employees to deal with natural disasters and severe local weather, employers should prepare to address issues arising from employees’ inability to get to work.  By itself, being stuck at home because of a blizzard is not a protected activity.  This constitutes a personal absence warranting no protection under the law.  However, if the … Continue Reading

Be Prepared: Changes to Workplace Wellness Programs Coming in 2019

Though still a year away, employee health plans are in for significant change beginning January 1, 2019.  This modification is the result of a longstanding argument about plan administration.  In October 2016, the AARP sued the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), arguing that the regulations interpreting the Americans With Disabilities Act and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination … Continue Reading

Listing Essential Function in Job Description Essential to Defeat ADA Claim

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently vacated the lower court’s grant of summary judgment that dismissed a disability discrimination claim brought by a female police detective.  Years earlier, the detective suffered a “small heart attack” that the Police Department felt presented a significant risk if she suffered a Taser shock.  As part of the Taser … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit: Multi-Month Leave of Absence Not a Reasonable Accommodation under the ADA

Determining how long an employer must hold a position for an absent worker is a question that vexes Human resources Directors and Operations management. The Seventh Circuit recently ruled, in Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc., that an employee’s request for extended leave after having exhausted his Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) entitlement is not a … Continue Reading

Top 5 Tips for Conducting Pre-Employment Medical Exams

In a recently filed lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission contends that Consolidated Edison Co. (“Con Ed”) violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”) by its use of pre-employment medical examinations. According to the Complaint, Con Ed required applicants to submit to pre-employment medical examinations … Continue Reading

Will Employers Have to Accommodate Employees Who Test Positive for Marijuana?

On July 17, 2017, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that under the Massachusetts Anti-Discrimination law an employer may be required to accommodate an employee who is a current user of medical marijuana regardless of the employer’s drug free workplace and drug testing policies.  For a complete discussion on the ruling and tips on how … Continue Reading

Recent 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Case Demonstrates Importance of Documentation of the Interactive Process

On May 4, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Brown v. Milwaukee Board of School Directors affirmed the summary judgment dismissal of a former employee’s disability discrimination claim under the ADA.   While the employer consistently sought to find reasonable accommodations, plaintiff failed to engage in the interactive process because neither … Continue Reading

Federal District Court Rules Federal Protections Expanded for Transgendered Employees

According to one federal court judge, a transgendered former employee can proceed with an employment discrimination case under the American With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) alleging that she was mistreated and fired based on her gender-identity-related disability. Blatt v. Cabela’s Retail, Inc., No. 5:14-cv-04822 (E.D. Pa. May 18, 2017). While courts have recognized federal protections for … Continue Reading

Sensitivity to Electromagnetic Voltage Not a “Disability” Under the Americans With Disabilities Act

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of summary judgment dismissing a former employee’s claim that he was terminated because of his purported disability, “sensitivity to electromagnetic voltage.”  Hirmiz v. New Harrison Hotel Corp., Docket No. 16-3915 (7th Cir. Apr. 6, 2017).  The Court held that “sensitivity to electromagnetic voltage” was not a … Continue Reading

“Ignorance” May Not Be Bliss: Court Denies Employer’s Motion for Summary Judgment on an ADA Claim

In Preeson v. Parkview Medical Center, a federal court in Colorado denied Defendant’s motion for summary dismissal of a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  Plaintiff alleged, in relevant part, that her termination from employment constituted discrimination on account of a disability.  Plaintiff suffered from Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (“CVS”).  As such, she contended … Continue Reading

Employer Will Have to Do Heavy Lifting After Court Denies Motion for Summary Judgment

In Crain v. Roseville Rehabilitation and Health Care, the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois denied an employer’s motion for summary judgment dismissing a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Rehabilitation Act.  In Crain, Plaintiff alleged that her employer discriminated against her under the ADA because of … Continue Reading

Employer Failure to Provide Reasonable Accommodations for Migraines Results in Legal Headaches

In Bethscheider v. Westar Energy, the United States District Court for the District of Kansas denied Defendant’s motion to dismiss claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  Alleged by Plaintiff was that her migraine headaches constituted a disability entitling her to a reasonable accommodation.  The Company terminated Plaintiff for “excessive absenteeism” despite the fact … Continue Reading

Employee’s ADA and FMLA Claims Survive Summary Judgment After Leaving Work Early To Go To Hospital

In Knight v. Barry Callebaut USA Service Company, Inc., the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied an employer’s motion for summary judgment on claims brought by a terminated employee under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).  During the work day, the employee … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit: Evidence That Disabled Employee Performed His Job without Incident for Decades Raises Fact Issue, Despite Written Job Description

The Sixth Circuit recently reversed the grant of summary judgment in favor of an employer in a case arising under the Americans With Disabilities Act.   The Court determined that an issue of fact existed as to whether the ability to lift more than 35 pounds was an essential function of plaintiff’s job as a stock … Continue Reading

Poor Performing Employee Cannot Shift Interactive Process Obligation under the ADA

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed a grant of summary judgment finding that an employer did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) by discharging an employee after participating in an interactive process seeking reasonable accommodation. Dillard v. City of Austin, No. 15-50779 (5th Cir. Sept. 16, 2016). Following an … Continue Reading

Sleeping On The Job Due To Prescription Medication Not A Sufficient Basis to Dismiss Disability Discrimination Complaint

In Beaton v. Metropolitan Transportation Authority New York City Transit, Docket No. 15 CV 08056 (S.D.N.Y. June 15, 2016), the Court denied Defendant’s motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s disability discrimination claims under the ADA and local laws.  The case is significant because it addressed an alleged  mental disability.  By way of background, Plaintiff was employed by … Continue Reading
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