On December 14, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) added a new section, COVID-19 and the Definition of “Disability” Under the ADA/Rehabilitation Act, to its COVID-19 guidance. The updated guidance describes how the ADA’s three-part definition of disability (actual disability, record of disability or being regarded as an individual with a disability)
What Does The CDC’s Latest Mask Guidance Mean For Businesses Open to the Public?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) latest guidance that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks or social distance in many settings raises questions for businesses in retail, hospitality and other settings open to the public. Last week, we discussed considerations for businesses considering relaxing their mask and social distancing policies…
Virginia Expands Disability Discrimination Protections and Adds Domestic Worker Protections
Effective July 1, 2021, Virginia further expands the scope of the Virginia Human Rights Act (VHRA) to prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. The state also enacted protections and benefits for domestic workers. Read more about the expanded law and next steps for employers here.
Regular Attendance is Essential Even if Employer was Lenient in the Past, Fifth Circuit Holds
An employer’s past leniency in applying and enforcing its attendance policy did not contradict the employer’s later position that regular worksite attendance was required for employment, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has held. Weber v. BNSF Railway Co., No. 20-10295 (5th Cir. Feb. 24, 2021).
This provides guidance for employers…
Can You Be “Regarded as” Disabled Based on a Potential Future Disability?
This certainly sounds futuristic. (Pun intended.) Still, in a case just decided by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, EEOC v. STME, LLC, the EEOC espoused precisely this position.
The EEOC sued STME for disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act on behalf of Kimberly Lowe, a former STME massage therapist. Lowe was…
Ninth Circuit Dodges the Question of Whether Morbid Obesity is an “Impairment” Under the ADA; EEOC Says Yes
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.
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Dodges the Question of Whether Morbid Obesity is an “Impairment” Under the ADA; EEOC Says Yes
Will They or Won’t They: A Look at Some Significant Proposed California Legislation Relating to Leaves, Disability, and Other Protected Time Off
With May 31st 2019, marking the deadline for bills to be passed by their California house of origin, the following are some key pieces of employment legislation that may find their way to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk in October. Here is a round-up of potential 2020 legislation worth watching:
Assembly Bill 767 – This bill…
Federal Court Allows Class Action Website Disability Access Case to Proceed Against An Employer
While we continue to wait for guidance from the government on website accessibility standards, plaintiffs continue to challenge the accessibility of company websites. For years, individuals have brought lawsuits claiming that their access to goods and services is limited under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities (“ADA”). More recently we have seen individuals challenge…
Regular, Reliable Attendance Can Be An Essential Function, Connecticut Appellate Court Holds
A recent Connecticut Appellate Court case provides helpful reminders that:
- regular, reliable attendance can be an essential function of many jobs; and
- eliminating an essential job function is not a reasonable accommodation.
Plaintiff in Barbabosa v. Board of Education of the Town of Manchester was a full-time, one-on-one paraprofessional for schoolchildren. The trial court held…
The FMLA, ADA and Overseas Employees
In the global economy, it is not unusual for U.S. multinational companies to have employees working overseas. Overseas employment arrangements require employers to navigate a variety of complex legal issues – some of them leave related. For example, what happens if an overseas employee has a medical condition that causes them to miss work?