Archives: Health Management

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California Expands Upon Lactation Accommodation Requirements

California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 1976, expanding California employer obligations respective to employee lactation accommodation. Under preexisting California Labor Code section 1031, an employer was required to make available a private location, other than a toilet stall, for an employee to express milk for an infant child, and provide employees with … Continue Reading

Is Crying at Work Sufficient Notice of an FMLA Covered Condition?

It is well established that an employee need not specifically request leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) in order to benefit from the Act’s protections.  Rather, the law requires the employer to take action to notify an employee of FMLA rights when the employer acquires knowledge that an employee’s leave may be … Continue Reading

Court Labels Employer Post-Offer Medical Examination “Textbook Case” of ADA Regarded As Liability

When used lawfully, post-offer, pre-employment medical examinations can be a powerful tool. But a recent federal district court case demonstrates the importance of carefully implementing such programs.  In EEOC v. M.G.H. Family Health Center, Cause No. 1:15-CV-952 (E.D. Mich. 1/27/2017 ), the employer hired an employee and asked her to participate in a medical examination.  Although … Continue Reading

Employee Seeking a Less Stressful Work Environment Denied ADA Protections

In a case addressing a challenging accommodation scenario faced by many employers, a Florida District Court held in Hargett v. Florida Atlantic University Board of Trustees that an employee seeking a less stressful environment and an end to hostile confrontations with her manager was not seeking a reasonable accommodation.  The employee suffered from epilepsy  with seizures … 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

Federal Court Simultaneously Rejects and Upholds EEOC’s Positions on Wellness Programs – Rejects Employer’s ADA “Safe Harbor” Defense

In a much anticipated decision, a Wisconsin federal district court has granted Orion Energy Systems, Inc.’s summary judgment on the EEOC’s challenge to its wellness program design. See Sept 19, 2016 Decision and Order. While largely good news for Orion, the ruling creates even more confusion for employers seeking clarity on wellness program design principles.  … Continue Reading

Ebola in the News

The Ebola virus, first diagnosed almost 40 years ago, for which there is no vaccine and up to a 90% fatality rate, is very much in the news. In the most recent outbreak, since March 2014, the Centers for Disease Control reports about 887 suspected deaths and more than 1600 confirmed cases. The CDC has … Continue Reading

Banning Employees from Providing Emergency Medical Services Banned in California

A California employer may not prohibit an employee from providing voluntary emergency medical services, such as CPR, in response to a medical emergency, according to a law approved by the Governor last week.  The law has a few caveats. An employer may have a policy authorizing trained employees to provide those services but, even with … Continue Reading

With Flu Season Upon Us….

With flu season upon us, our colleague Joe Lynett has written two posts relating to workplace flu issues. “Plan to Minimize Spread of Flu and Legal Risks in the Workplace during Flu Season” is here. "Health Care Personnel in New York Must Get Flu Vaccination or Wear a Mask” is here.  … Continue Reading

Medical Marijuana Musings

Medical marijuana is in the news for a variety of reasons. On the legal front, the primary issue is that the federal government classifies marijuana as a controlled substance while 20 states have passed laws allowing its use for medical reasons. President Obama’s spokesperson said recently that the President “does not, at this point, advocate a change … Continue Reading

Lactation is a “Medical Condition” Protected by Title VII and PDA

It comes down to the definition of "medical condition." The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, an amendment to Title VII,  prohibits discrimination based on "pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions." Lactation is none of these, a federal district court held last year, granting summary judgment to the employer. See our post of that decision here. Reversing that … Continue Reading

Lawful Use of Medical Marijuana Not a “Lawful Activity” in Colorado

A Colorado law prohibits employers from terminating an employee for “engaging in any lawful activity of the premises of the employer during nonworking hours…” Another Colorado law allows individuals to obtain a license to use medical marijuana. The Colorado Court of Appeals has held that licensed medical marijuana use is not a “lawful activity” under … Continue Reading