Tag Archives: accommodation

Who’s Responsible for Providing Disability-Related Workplace Accommodations to Temporary Employees?

Many businesses use temporary workers placed by staffing agencies. But who is responsible when a temporary worker requests a disability accommodation?  The staffing agency and the business could both be responsible if they are acting as “joint employers” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Staffing agencies commonly “employ” temporary workers: hire the workers, pay wages, provide any benefits, … Continue Reading

When Is Reassignment to an Intermittent Position Required as an ADA Accommodation?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) generally requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to disabled employees so that they can perform the essential duties of their jobs. This is not news. But what if no feasible accommodation can be identified in an employee’s existing position? Employers are often uncertain about whether they must offer reassignment to … Continue Reading

What Should I Tell Employees on Leave About Their FMLA Usage? Everything!

When it comes to FMLA leave administration, “don’t sweat the details” is rarely a wise axiom.  Details matter.  A lot.  A recent decision by an Illinois federal court reinforces that lesson.  In March 2015, Amanda Dusik contacted her employer, Lutheran Child and Family Services (LCFS), to request time off for knee surgery.  She explained that, … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Nominee Has Put “Reasonable” into Reasonable Accommodation Obligations

In case your news and twitter accounts are down, and you otherwise have not heard the news…   President Trump has nominated Judge Gorsuch from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s vacant Supreme Court seat.  There are surely countless articles about his nomination hitting the airwaves even as … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Holds that ADA Does Not Require Reassignment Without Competition

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) suffered a setback in its attempt to establish that the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) requires an employer to reassign an employee to an available position without having to compete with other candidates for that position.  In EEOC v. St. Joseph’s Hospital, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held … Continue Reading

EEOC Explains ADA Interference – Employers Take Note

On August 25, 2016, the EEOC issued its Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues. In addition to outlining expanded definitions of “opposition” and “participation” activity with respect to retaliation claims, the EEOC also addressed section 503(b) of the ADA.  Section 503(b) makes it unlawful to “coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere” with an individual who … Continue Reading

Finding the “Implicit” Accommodation Request

It is common gospel that when a qualified disabled employee requests accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), both employer and employee must engage in an interactive dialogue to discuss the options.  But what happens when an employee merely identifies a disability but never asks to be accommodated?  In a recent decision, a sharply divided … Continue Reading

Unlike Godot, ADA Leave Guidance Arrives

Since June 2011, when the EEOC suggested it might issue guidance on leave as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, we have likened the wait to waiting for Godot. See here and here.  After nearly five years of reciting that “it didn’t come today, it might come tomorrow,” on May 9, 2016, the EEOC issued … Continue Reading

Deaf Plasma Technician’s ADA Accommodation Case Revived

Recall the deaf applicant for a lifeguard position who was the subject of our post here. Most memorable there was the comment by the employer’s doctor to the applicant and his mom that “[h]e’s deaf. He can’t be a lifeguard.” The court there resuscitated the lifeguard’s ADA claim. Now comes a deaf applicant for a … Continue Reading

Boat Analyst’s Disability Claim Does Not Hold Water

A Coast Guard analyst unable to maintain regular and predictable attendance due to various debilitating conditions was not entitled to her requested accommodations of telecommuting and a later start time, according to a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Doak v. Johnson, Sec’y US Dep’t of Homeland Security … Continue Reading

Doctor’s Hope for Change Insufficient to Support ADA Accommodation Request

Medicine being an inexact science, doctors’ notes concerning an employee’s ability to work with a particular accommodation are often tinged with optimism yet hedged by a less than definitive prediction about the likelihood of success.   How much of a health care provider’s hope for change—some would say speculation or wishful thinking–must an employer accept when … Continue Reading

Philly Employers Must Accommodate Pregnant Workers

Add Philly to the quickly growing list of jurisdictions requiring employers to accommodate pregnant employees. The Philadelphia Ordinance requires employers, upon request, to reasonably accommodate an employee “for needs related to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition” unless to do so will cause an undue hardship. Examples of reasonable accommodation include “restroom breaks, periodic … Continue Reading

A Déjà Vu Moment On Reasonable Accommodation

As I read and re-read the OFCCP’s14 points of guidance to employers interested in establishing a “best practice” reasonable accommodation program, Appendix B to the Section 503 regulations   issued in August, I had a déjà vu moment. I kept thinking that I had previously read something remarkably similar to the 14 points. It finally came … Continue Reading

New York City Council Passes Law Requiring Pregnancy-Related Accommodations, Legislation Awaits Mayor’s Approval

On September 24, 2013, the New York City Council unanimously approved legislation that requires most New York City employers to provide reasonable accommodation for an employee’s pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. While the legislation must be approved by the Mayor to become law, the City Council passed the measure by a seemingly veto-proof 47-0 … Continue Reading

ADA Accommodation Request Need Not Relate to Essential Job Functions

A request for a reserved, on-site, free parking space is a request for an accommodation under the ADA even though it does not relate to the performance of essential job functions, according to a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Feist v. State of Louisiana, (5th Cir. Sept. 16, … Continue Reading

U.S. DOL Announces New Section 503 Disability Regulations

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) today announced a Final Rule that makes historic changes to the regulations implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act with regard to the employment of individuals with disabilities, referred to in the Rule as “IWDs.” As explained in the DOL’s announcement, “Section 503 … Continue Reading

The ADA Conundrum from Cleveland: Analyzing an Employee’s Inconsistent Statements About the Ability to Work

In Cleveland v. Policy Management Systems Corp., the United States Supreme Court created a framework for analyzing how inconsistent statements on applications for disability benefits concerning a plaintiff’s ability to work affect an ADA claim.The analysis focuses on whether the plaintiff’s statements “genuinely conflicted with her ADA claim” and if so, whether the plaintiff has … Continue Reading

Does a Rule Prohibiting Employees with Discipline From Transferring Violate the ADA?

Must an employer bend its rule prohibiting an employee with discipline from transferring to another position as a reasonable accommodation if the request to transfer is due to a disability?  We posted recently about a case where an employer denied an employee’s request to telecommute or relocate his office for a medical reason because he … Continue Reading

Refusal to Try Respirator Takes the Air Out of ADA Accommodation Claim

A lab worker with health problems as a result of her work with a solvent submitted the following request for an accommodation: “Avoid any type of work where she would have exposure to organic solvents. Transfer to another line of work. Avoidance of irritants.” The employer denied the request but offered the plaintiff a full … Continue Reading

Denying Request to Change Worksite Supports ADA Constructive Discharge Claim

A plaintiff’s claim that she was constructively discharged because her employer refused to transfer her to an office closer to the place where she received therapy to deal with the pain caused by her arthritis has survived her employer’s motion to dismiss. The plaintiff worked in the home office of a child welfare agency.  She … Continue Reading

Mammography Tech with Epilepsy Unqualified under ADA Because Unconscious During Seizures

A mammography tech with epilepsy is not a qualified individual with a disability under the ADA because she cannot perform the essential functions of her job "during the indefinite periods in which she was incapacitated," according to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Olsen v. Capital Region Medical Center (8th Cir. May 7, 2013). We … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Revised Guidance on ADA’s Application to Certain Disabilities

On May 15, 2013, the EEOC issued revised “Q & A” documents addressing how the ADA applies to job applicants and employees with cancer, diabetes, epilepsy and learning disabilities.  http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/5-15-13.cfm Each of the revised Q & A documents also answers questions about topics such as: when an employer may obtain medical information from applicants and … Continue Reading
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