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.

Since the FMLA came into existence, employers have been advised, where possible, to run FMLA concurrently with other leaves. Doing so prevents leave stacking. When reviewing FMLA policies, a common oversight we see is how employers handle the use of paid leave during FMLA. While the policies require employees to use earned vacation, sick or

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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Determining when to terminate an employee on a leave of absence for medical reasons is a challenge under any circumstances. No “inflexible” rules can be applied, not even “equal treatment.”  As part of its deliberations, an employer must make an individualized assessment to determine if, when, and under what circumstances an employee can return to

Sometimes a case makes you wonder. Bruce Casanova, a former American Airlines baggage handler, told the jury he lied to American and feigned forgetfulness in an “Article 29F” investigation of his work related injury, and refused to provide a written statement concerning the circumstances of his injury as required by the collective bargaining agreement

When a law, such as the ADA, restricts an employer’s rights to take reasonable, measured steps to promote workplace safety, it ought to be re-examined.  Years ago, Justice Souter observed that preventing employers from considering "risk to self," an ADA rule many disability rights advocates had sought, would have put the ADA at "loggerheads" with federal OSHA policy requiring employers to ensure the

Many employers limit “transitional work” or “light duty” to individuals with work-related injuries. But is such a practice lawful? Most believe it is. Many years ago, in fact, the EEOC specifically endorsed the practice, with some caveats, in its Enforcement Guidance on the ADA and Workers’ Compensation. However, in a September 2009 EEOC press release