Tag Archives: essential functions

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

Breaks and Flexible Hours Not a Reasonable ADA Accommodation for Frequently Absent Employee, Court Holds

Employers can easily feel overwhelmed when it comes to enforcing employee attendance standards while providing reasonable accommodation to employees with chronic health conditions. Increasingly, however, court decisions such as Williams v. AT&T Mobility Services LLC are providing much-needed guidance regarding the scope of an employer’s duty to accommodate. The Williams case illustrates how carefully-designed policies, frequent communication, … 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

Be Wary of Potential FMLA Violation before Terminating an Employee for Failure to Meet Performance Standards During Intermittent Leave

It is well established that the FMLA does not require an employer to reduce its performance expectations for an employee who is taking leave intermittently or on a reduced schedule.  Additionally, during the time the employee is at work, the employee must be capable of continuing to perform the essential functions of the job.  However, … Continue Reading

Manual or Automatic? Transmission Type Matters for Leg Amputee in ADA Essential Function Dispute

The plaintiff drove an excavator, which had an automatic transmission. The plaintiff moved the excavator from one jobsite to another by hauling it on a trailer behind a semi-truck, which had a manual transmission. While other employees sometimes hauled the excavator, the plaintiff moved it about 70% of the time. Due to a motorcycle accident, … Continue Reading

Appeals Court Resuscitates Deaf Lifeguard’s ADA Accommodation Claim

Is a deaf person qualified to be a wave pool lifeguard? Before answering, consider that the lifeguard holding the record for most “saves”–more than 900–is Leroy Columbo, who was a deaf man. In Keith v. County of Oakland (6h Cir. January 10, 2013), the plaintiff, deaf since birth, had completed the County’s lifeguard training programs … Continue Reading

Rotating Assignments as an Essential Job Function under the ADA: The Cases of the Acrophobic Bridge Worker and Incontinent Court Reporter

Recall the incontinent court reporter. She had a steady assignment compatible with her medical condition until the chief judge required court reporters to rotate through all courtrooms.  In the lawsuit challenging the court reporter’s termination, the court held that rotating was an essential function of the court reporter’s job and because she could not do … Continue Reading

The Case of the Incontinent Court Reporter Redux: An ADA Loophole?

  Recall the incontinent court reporter, hired as a control room specialist, a position compatible with her medical condition, but whose job changed when the chief judge decided to evenly distribute the workload, and required all court reporters to rotate through all courtrooms. In ADA parlance, the court changed the essential functions of the court reporter’s … Continue Reading

The Accommodation of the Incontinent Court Reporter

 Many reasonable accommodation cases are resolved in court but a court is not usually the defendant. But such was the case when a court reporter sued the Office of the Chief Judges of various Illinois circuit courts for failing to accommodate her incontinence.  In Gratzl v Office of the Chief Judges of the 12th, 18th, … Continue Reading
LexBlog