Tag Archives: ADA

Employee’s failure to return from FMLA leave in a timely manner supports summary judgment for employer under the ADA.

In an unpublished opinion issued on October 8, 2013, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld summary judgment in favor of an employer on a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The interesting – and somewhat unexpected – basis of the decision was the fact that the plaintiff/employee’s termination was based upon … Continue Reading

The OFCCP’s “7% Solution” becomes effective.

According to its own website, the primary responsibility of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), is to: “enforce, for the benefit of job seekers and wage earners, the contractual promise of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity required of those who do business with the Federal government.”  In furtherance … Continue Reading

Reasonable accommodation sought by disabled employee must enable employee to perform ‘essential functions’ of original job.

In an unpublished opinion, the6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held that an employee who was unable to complete the functions of her job while on part-time duty could not subsequently claim that ongoing part-time work was a reasonable accommodation for her disability. White v. Security First Associated Agency, Inc.,et al, 6th Cir., No. … Continue Reading

Written job description did not sufficiently indicate the essential nature of night shift in emergency dispatcher position.

One federal district court has ruled that a night-shift emergency dispatcher with diabetes and hypertension, whose doctor stated that the individual’s health would be improved by working day-shifts, could proceed on his claim that an employer’s refusal to allow him to work days violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Szarawara v. County of Montgomery, … Continue Reading

Operating room nurse prohibited from working after drug rehab cannot support ADA failure to hire claim.

In a case that points out the inherent difficulty of implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in a situation involving safety issues, a federal district court in Connecticut determined that an operating room nurse was not qualified for protection under the ADA because he was weeks away from the end of a year-long prohibition … Continue Reading

Employer’s judgment about what constitutes an essential job function carries substantial weight.

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 … Continue Reading

Dishonest response on an initial application can come back to haunt an employee.

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 … Continue Reading

8th Circuit upholds jury’s decision that if employee is prohibited by his doctor from engaging in the essential functions of his job, no accommodation is necessary.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that jury was justified in finding that an employer is not required to engage in an onsite evaluation to interactively create a reasonable accommodation for a disabled employee, if a treating physician’s restrictions would prevent that individual from performing those essential functions at all. Hohn v. … Continue Reading

“Reasonable accommodation” may include adjustments to work schedule, even beyond an agreed-upon flex-time schedule.

Employers are aware of the fact that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires them to engage in an interactive process in order to determine whether a disabled individual can be accommodated to assist him or her in performing the essential functions of a job. In determining the essential functions of a position, most employers … Continue Reading

Employer has no obligation to provide “light duty” assignment under FMLA or ADA.

The use of light duty assignments to employees who are returning to work after recuperation from an illness or injury is an often used mechanism. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held that neither the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) nor the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) creates an obligation for an … Continue Reading

Employer not obligated to make an otherwise temporary “light-duty” position permanent to accommodate disabled employee under the ADA.

In an unpublished opinion, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld summary judgment in favor of an employer who refused to convert a light-duty position into a permanent job for a disabled employee.  Wardia v. Campbell County Regional Justice Dept. of Corrections, 6th Cir., No. 12-5337, January 3, 2013. In that case, a … Continue Reading

Employer’s reliance on third party assessment to determine reasonable accommodation may lead to ADA liability.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently addressed an issue of first impression, finding that the ability to hear is not necessarily an “essential function” of the job of lifeguard. Keith v. County of Oakland, 6th Cir., No. 11-2276, January 10, 2013. In addition, however, the Court made a number of other, more generally … Continue Reading

Title VII and ADA can apply in employment situations involving domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Neither Title VII of the Civil Rights Act nor the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifically prohibits discrimination against individuals who may be victims of domestic or dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. However, a recent fact sheet/guidance issued by the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) has employers scrambling to update anti-discrimination training to reflect … Continue Reading

Employee’s request to move from rotating shift to straight shift not a “reasonable accommodation” under the ADA.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently addressed an issue of concern frequently raised by employers: whether allowing an employee to move from rotating shifts to straight daytime work is a required “reasonable accommodation” under the ADA. Kallail v. Alliant Energy Corporate Services, Inc., 8th Cir., No. 11-2202, September 4, 2012. In that case, … Continue Reading

An indefinite exemption from the essential functions of a job is not a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.

An issue that confounds employers on a regular basis is whether the discharge of an employee who is unable to return to work after a medical leave will violate the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Most employers understand their obligation to engage in an interactive process to determine a reasonable accommodation that will assist the … Continue Reading

Employer’s request for psychological counseling as criteria to continued employment is viewed as a “medical examination” under the ADA.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from requiring a “medical examination” and from making inquiries about the nature or severity of an employee’s possible disability, unless such exam or inquiry is shown to be “job-related and consistent with business necessity.” Most employers understand this issue as it applies both to medical examinations of … Continue Reading

Company’s wording of termination letter, which mentioned employee’s disability leave, was direct evidence of discrimination.

“Direct evidence” is evidence that, if believed, leads to the conclusion that discrimination was at least one motivating factor in an adverse employment action. An employer’s termination letter, stating that the employee was being terminated due to her inability to do her job during a medical leave, was “direct evidence” of discrimination sufficient to support … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit underscores a circuit split on preferential reassignment of disabled individuals to open positions.

The Federal Circuits currently are split on the issue of whether the ADA requires reassignment of disabled employees to vacant positions when a more qualified candidate exists, with the 10th Circuit and the District of Columbia Circuit holding that the ADA creates preferential treatment for disabled candidates, and the 7th and 8th Circuits holding that … Continue Reading

Wounded warriors want to return to work – and employers can help that transition.

On February 28, 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released two publications addressing the rights of military veterans with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as part of its efforts to aid such veterans in the transition back into civilian employment.  According to government statistics, three million veterans have returned from military … Continue Reading

Employee’s inability to work overtime is not a per se disability under the ADA.

The 4th U.S. Court of Appeals has dismissed an employee’s lawsuit, holding that the individual’s inability to work overtime hours was not a substantial limitation that would entitle him to the protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Boitnott v. Corning Incorporated, 4th Cir., No. 10-1769, February 10, 2012. Michael Boitnott, an employee of … Continue Reading

High school diploma as pre-requisite to employment may violate the ADA.

On December 2, 2011, the EEOC posted an “informal discussion letter” on its website. The letter was in response to an issue involving individuals who are unable to earn a high school diploma because of certain learning disabilities and who therefore are ineligible for jobs that require a high school education. According to the EEOC, … Continue Reading

Employee must meet legitimate job expectations in order to support a claim under the ADA.

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals because of disability or perceived disability. However, in order to sufficiently support an ADA claim, an individual employee must be able to prove that he was qualified to perform his job in a satisfactory manner, with or without accommodation. Recently, the 7th U.S. Circuit … Continue Reading