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

Many employers have programs allowing employees to donate their own time off to another employee with serious medical or family issues.  A dilemma often faced by employers with these policies is whether continued use of such donated time means the employee is not performing the essential function of attendance.  On the one hand, the employee

Failure to accommodate claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act frequently stand or fall on a determination of the essential functions of the position at issue. Since the ADA requires an employer to provide a reasonable accommodation that will allow an employee to perform the essential functions of the position that the employee holds or

The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) generally requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to disabled employees so that they can perform the essential duties of their jobs. This is not news. But what if no feasible accommodation can be identified in an employee’s existing position? Employers are often uncertain about whether they must offer reassignment

Employers can easily feel overwhelmed when it comes to enforcing employee attendance standards while providing reasonable accommodation to employees with chronic health conditions. Increasingly, however, court decisions such as Williams v. AT&T Mobility Services LLC are providing much-needed guidance regarding the scope of an employer’s duty to accommodate. The Williams case illustrates how carefully-designed policies, frequent communication, and a generous sprinkling of patience form key ingredients in the recipe for avoiding liability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Continue Reading Breaks and Flexible Hours Not a Reasonable ADA Accommodation for Frequently Absent Employee, Court Holds

It is common gospel that when a qualified disabled employee requests accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), both employer and employee must engage in an interactive dialogue to discuss the options.  But what happens when an employee merely identifies a disability but never asks to be accommodated?  In a recent decision, a sharply divided Eighth Circuit held that an employer who learns an employee cannot perform essential duties without accommodation due to a medical condition may need to treat the information as an “implicit” accommodation request.  Such an implicit request can trigger the interactive process even though the employee never specifically asked to be accommodated.  The opinion can be found here
Continue Reading Finding the “Implicit” Accommodation Request

It is well established that the FMLA does not require an employer to reduce its performance expectations for an employee who is taking leave intermittently or on a reduced schedule.  Additionally, during the time the employee is at work, the employee must be capable of continuing to perform the essential functions of the job.  However,