Tag Archives: medical

New York Federal Court Finds Alcoholism Is “Impairment,” Not Necessarily A Disability, Under the ADA

It seems axiomatic that a disability discrimination claim requires the plaintiff to suffer from a disability.  In Johnson v. N.Y. State Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Servs., No. 16-cv-9769 (RJS) (S.D.N.Y., March 13, 2018), a judge in the Southern District of New York dismissed a pro se plaintiff’s complaint for failure to allege that … 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

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

Federal Agencies Serve Notice To Nation’s Health-Related Schools Concerning Hepatitis B Discrimination

The Departments of Justice, Education and Health and Human Services issued a joint letter to the nation’s medical schools, dental schools, nursing schools, and other health-related schools regarding hepatitis B discrimination.  In the letter, the departments express concern that some health-related schools may be making enrollment decisions based on an incorrect understanding of the hepatitis … Continue Reading

Denying Request to Change Worksite Supports ADA Constructive Discharge Claim

A plaintiff’s claim that she was constructively discharged because her employer refused to transfer her to an office closer to the place where she received therapy to deal with the pain caused by her arthritis has survived her employer’s motion to dismiss. The plaintiff worked in the home office of a child welfare agency.  She … 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

EEOC Brings GINA Class Claim Challenging Family Medical History Inquiries

The EEOC has brought a class action under the Genetic Information and Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) against a nursing and rehabilitation center, alleging that the defendant-employer "requires a class of applicants and employees to provide genetic information in response to questions about family medical history" as part of its pre-employment, return-to-work and annual medical exams of … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Revised Guidance on ADA’s Application to Certain Disabilities

On May 15, 2013, the EEOC issued revised “Q & A” documents addressing how the ADA applies to job applicants and employees with cancer, diabetes, epilepsy and learning disabilities.  http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/5-15-13.cfm Each of the revised Q & A documents also answers questions about topics such as: when an employer may obtain medical information from applicants and … 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

General Inquiry Not a “Medical Inquiry” under the ADA Despite Response Laden with Medical Information

An employer’s email to a “no call/no show” employee asking “what is going on” is not a “medical inquiry” under the ADA, according to the 7th Circuit.eeoc v. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans (7th Cir. Nov. 20. 2012).  The Court rejected the EEOC’s argument that the word “inquiries” in the “Medical Examinations and Inquiries” section of the … Continue Reading

Running Medical Errands is Not “Treatment” Under the FMLA

An employee’s taking a morning off to make an unannounced visit to his physician’s office to get a prescription refill and confirm that referral paperwork for an appointment that afternoon had been completed was not protected by the FMLA because the visit was not “treatment” for a serious health condition, the Seventh Circuit has held. … Continue Reading

Working Through the Workplace Haze from Connecticut’s New Medical Marijuana Law

 Under a new Connecticut law, a “qualifying patient” with a “debilitating medical condition” may obtain a supply of marijuana from a licensed dispensary to alleviate symptoms or effects of such symptoms.  The statute lists eleven “debilitating medical conditions” and gives the Department of Consumer Protection the ability to add others. The act also gives guidance to address the … Continue Reading

Testing Protocol for Lawful Drugs Illegal ADA Exam and Inquiry

A drug testing protocol for both legal and illegal drugs was an unlawful medical examination, and the follow up questions about lawful drug use were unlawful disability-related inquiries, according to a federal district court in Tennessee. Bates v. Dura Automotive Systems, Inc., (Aug. 29, 2011). The court rejected the company’s motion to set aside a jury … Continue Reading

Time To Revisit ADA Medical Inquiry Rules At “Loggerheads” With OSHA Policy

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 … Continue Reading
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