On August 20, 2019, the Ninth Circuit dodged answering the question of whether morbid obesity is a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In Valtierra v. Medtronic Inc., No. 17-15282, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant, but came short of joining the Second, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Circuits in explicitly holding that obesity cannot constitute a disability under applicable EEOC regulations unless there is evidence that the obesity is caused by an underlying physiological condition.
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It is not uncommon for employees who are on leave and receiving workers’ compensation benefits to be released to return to work with light duty restrictions.  To account for these situations, some employers have designated light duty positions reserved for employees who are released to return to work on light duty after an occupational injury.

A recent Third Circuit case, Sessoms v. Trs. Of the Univ. of Pa., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16611 (3rd Cir. June 20, 2018), serves as a reminder that while the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees, it does not obligate an employer to provide

With the increase in the number of states that require various types of paid leave, now is a good time to examine your leave policies.  While often overlooked, one policy that could expose an employer to liability is its maternity leave or parental leave policy. 

 As the EEOC’s Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues

On September 20, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a significant opinion for employers in Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc., No. 15-3754 (7th Cir. Sept. 20, 2017), holding that “[t]he ADA is an antidiscrimination statute, not a medical-leave entitlement.”  The Seventh Circuit joins the Tenth Circuit in rejecting the EEOC’s

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

Since Election Day, prognosticators and pundits have been speculating about how the Trump Administration’s actions will impact existing laws and regulations. Now that President Trump and his team have hit the ground running, what can we expect from the Department of Labor (including OFCCP), the EEOC and the President’s own executive actions in the areas

In continuation of its series of “resource” documents which provide guidance to individuals with medical conditions or work restrictions, on December 12, 2016, the EEOC issued a “resource” document titled “Depression, PTSD, and Other Mental Health Conditions in the Workplace: Your Legal Rights” which is intended to provide guidance on workplace rights for

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 attempts to exercise ADA rights or one who assists or encourages others to do so.

What Makes ADA Interference Different

In its guidance, the EEOC notes the interference provisions of the ADA are broader than the statute’s anti-retaliation provisions. Specifically, actions that may not be materially adverse for a retaliation claim may suffice for an interference action.  Another distinguishing feature of an ADA interference claim, according to the agency, is that an individual pursuing relief need not be a qualified person with a disability.
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