Tag Archives: reasonable

ADA Compliance Challenges: Navigating the Over-accommodation Conundrum

Make no mistake about it: ADA compliance can be challenging.  This is especially true when it comes to providing reasonable accommodation.  Not uncommonly, managers wanting to do the right thing actually provide more than the law requires.  Although well-intentioned, this practice often leads to conflict if more generous accommodations are later scaled back. Thankfully, a recent … 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

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

Relying on Poor Performance Caused by Disability to Deny ADA Accommodation “Troubling”; Turns “Reasonable Accommodation on its Head”

 To what extent may an employer deny a requested accommodation because of on an employee’s poor performance which is caused by a disability?  The Federal Reserve Bank of New York denied an employee’s request to telecommute or to relocate his office to a different Fed building because the employee had been rated as “below standards” in … Continue Reading

And Yet Another Multi-Million ADA Settlement Involving an Inflexible Leave Policy

There was this one, this one, and now yet another multi-million dollar settlement with the EEOC involving allegations that an employer had an inflexible leave policy. The EEOC announced that Dillard’s had agreed to pay $2 million as part of a consent decree to resolve the agency’s allegations relating to the company’s medical inquiries and … Continue Reading

Temporary and Rotating Position Not “Vacant” for Purposes of ADA’s Accommodation of Last Resort

We haveposted previously about the ADA’s “accommodation of last resort”: when an employee cannot perform the essential functions of his or her position, with or without an accommodation, due to a disability, an employer must consider transferring the employee to a vacant lateral or lower position for which the employee is qualified. Whether a position … Continue Reading

ADA Accommodation of Last Resort Heading to Court of Last Resort Again?

We posted previously about the Seventh Circuit holding in EEOC v. United Airlines that, in deciding whether a disabled employee who cannot perform the essential functions of his or her position is entitled to a vacant position as an accommodation under the ADA, the employer must disregard its policy of awarding positions to the best-qualified … Continue Reading

Yet Another Multi-Million Dollar ADA Settlement for Alleged “Inflexible Leave” Policy

Add another multi-million dollar settlement notch to the EEOC’s “inflexible leave” belt. The EEOC announced that national trucking company Interstate Distributor Company will pay $4.85 million to resolve a nationwide class disability discrimination lawsuit the EEOC had brought against Interstate. The lawsuit alleged that Interstate had a policy of terminating employees who needed more than … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Tips Balance on ADA’s Accommodation of Last Resort

When an employee cannot perform the essential functions of his or her position, with or without an accommodation due to a disability, an employer must consider “the accommodation of last resort”—transfer to a vacant lateral or lower position for which the employee is qualified. Circuit courts had been evenly divided on whether an individual with … Continue Reading

Adverse Impact on Co-Workers of a Requested Accommodation under ADA Relevant in Determining Essential Functions

We posted recently about an Eighth Circuit decision in which the court held that rotating shifts was an essential function because “[i]f [plaintiff] were switched to a straight day shift and not required to work the rotating shift, then other Resource Coordinators would have to work more night and weekend shifts.”   Another court has … Continue Reading

Court Issues Leave Limits Guidance: Will Employee Be Able to Perform Essential Functions on an Estimated Date Within 6 Months?

The question frustrating employers for decades remains: how much leave, beyond FMLA and employer policies, must an employer give a disabled employee as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA? More than a year after the EEOC hosted a public hearing on this topic, raising hopes that guidance may be forthcoming, only to have those hopes dampened … Continue Reading

EEOC Does Not Issue ADA Attendance Guidance, Yet Again

The extent of an employer’s obligation to extend leave and excuse absences as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA is perhaps the most vexing ADA issue for employers. In June 2011, the EEOC held a public hearing on leave as a reasonable accommodation, and suggested it might issue guidance on the topic in 2011. When … Continue Reading

Regular Attendance is Essential Function of ICU Nurse Post; Request for Unlimited Absences Unreasonable

 Whether and to what extent attendance is an essential job function is perhaps the most vexing ADA issue. In Samper v. Providence St. Vincent Medical Center (9th Cir April 11, 2012), the plaintiff, an ICU neo-natal nurse with fibromyalgia, asked to “opt out” of the employer’s unplanned absence policy as an accommodation.  In a remarkably refreshing … 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

Courts Split on Employer’s ADA Obligation to Accommodate Commute

Reversing summary judgment for the employer, the Second Circuit said that “in certain circumstances, an employer may have an obligation to assist in an employee’s commute” to work as a reasonable accommodation.  The Court cited its observation in an earlier decision that “there is nothing inherently unreasonable…in requiring an employer to furnish an otherwise qualified … Continue Reading
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