News & Analysis as of

Americans with Disabilities Act Hiring & Firing Essential Functions

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1990 to prevent discrimination against individuals with disabilities in employment, public accomodation, transportation,... more +
The Americans with Disabilities Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1990 to prevent discrimination against individuals with disabilities in employment, public accomodation, transportation, communications and governmental activities. The Act defines a covered disability as those mental or physical impairments that substantially interfere with one or more major life activities.  Five different federal agencies are responsible for enforcing the ADA: Department of Labor, Department of Justice, Federal Communications Commission, Department of Transportation and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  less -

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Issues Groundbreaking Decision Allowing Medical Marijuana User to Assert State Law Handicap...

On July 17, 2017, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued a unanimous ruling in Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing, LLC, allowing medical marijuana users to assert claims for handicap discrimination under the...more

Medical exam results and tasks actually performed

by McAfee & Taft on

When addressing the issues of a person’s ability to perform a job or the potential need for accommodation, don’t forget to take into account work the individual has previously performed. Sometimes that can be every bit as...more

Court of Appeals Affirms Woody Allen - When it Comes to Work, Showing Up Is Essential

by Foley & Lardner LLP on

The movie director and comedian Woody Allen is credited with the observation that “Showing up is 80% of life.” A federal court of appeals in New Orleans has gone one step further and ruled that showing up for work is a 100%...more

What is a Reasonable Accommodation under the ADA?

by Tucker Arensberg, P.C. on

The Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) requires that employers provide employee’s with a qualifying disability with a reasonable accommodation, so long as the same does not represent an undue burden on the...more

Shielding Teacher From Unruly Students Not ADA Reasonable Accommodation

Sometimes employers face requests for reasonable accommodation that do not cost much, but which would materially interfere with the employee’s ability to get their work done. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),...more

Restraining Unruly Children As An Essential Job Element: Expected In Secondary Schools But Not At A Youth Detention Center? A...

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

In a recent blog post, I discussed the fact that under the reasonable accommodation provisions of the ADA, employers generally are not required to provide their employees with a stress-free work environment or one that...more

Fear Not: Employees’ Phobias May Not Relieve Them of Essential Job Duties

by Nexsen Pruet, PLLC on

From agoraphobia to xenophobia, employers should be well aware that there is a long list of phobias—including more common disorders such as social anxiety disorder—that can be considered disabilities under the Americans with...more

Second Circuit Reverses ADA Jury Verdict for Pharmacist with Fear of Needles

by Robinson & Cole LLP on

In Stevens v. Rite Aid Corp., No. 15-277 (March 21, 2017), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a jury award of almost $2 million in favor of a pharmacist who suffered from a fear of needles because he...more

Needle and the Damage Done: Pharmacist’s Phobia Not Enough for ADA Claim

Can fear of an aspect of your job constitute a disability under the ADA? Depends on how essential the function is. In Stevens v. Rite Aid Corp, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals looked at the case of a Rite Aid pharmacist,...more

Be Careful With That! – Second Circuit Dismisses Failure to Accommodate Claim Brought by “Needle Phobic” Pharmacist

On March 21, 2017, the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a former Rite Aid pharmacist’s claim against Rite Aid for refusing to accommodate his “needle phobia.” In 2011, Rite Aid altered the job description for its...more

Breaks and Flexible Hours Not a Reasonable ADA Accommodation for Frequently Absent Employee, Court Holds

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

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...more

Anxiety, Absenteeism, and the ADA

As accommodating and flexible as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compels employers to be, the harsh reality is that there are some jobs that a person with certain disabilities simply cannot do. When an employee...more

Sign of the Times: EEOC Settles Case of Employer Failing to Provide ASL Interpreter for Job Interview

A deaf person applies for a job and the employee who takes applications asks you “how can a deaf person do this job?” What if an essential function of the job requires interaction with the public or the ability to communicate...more

Fourth Circuit Rejects Motor Carrier's Defense in Refusing to Hire Driver Diagnosed with Narcolepsy

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers from refusing to hire qualified individuals with a disability on the basis of their condition, if they can perform the essential functions of the job with or without...more

Death Threats Lead To Employer's ADA Victory

by Fisher Phillips on

It is rare that the most employee-friendly of all federal appellate courts cites “common sense” in support of one of its decisions. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently did just that, however, dismissing a disability...more

Fourth Circuit Affirms EEOC’s Resounding Summary Judgment Defeat in ADA Case

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

In a case we have previously blogged about several times due to spoliation sanctions imposed on the EEOC – most recently here - the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed a ruling out of the Middle District of...more

Telecommuting May Not Always Be a Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA

by Pepper Hamilton LLP on

An en banc panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (Court) recently upheld the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Ford Motor Company in EEOC v. Ford Motor Company, on the basis that telecommuting was not...more

Fifth Circuit Finds Attendance to be Essential Job Function

In recent years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has taken the position that regular job attendance may not be an essential job function under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under the ADA, employers are...more

“Waive” Goodbye to Employer Liability Under the ADA for Voluntary Accommodations of Essential Job Functions

An employer faces a difficult situation when a temporarily disabled employee who cannot perform his or her essential job functions requests an accommodation. This situation becomes significantly more complicated when the...more

FedEx Cannot Exclude Diabetic Applicant From Mechanic Position Based on Need to Test Drive Trucks

The Americans with Disabilities Act contains a provision allowing exclusion of disabled persons from jobs when their medical condition contradicts federal licensing requirements. In practice, this exclusion has applied most...more

Employer’s Judgment About What Constitutes an Essential Job Function Carries Substantial Weight

Is being licensed to drive a commercial vehicle an “essential function” of a warehouse manager’s position, even though that manager rarely is required to drive? According to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, that answer...more

An Indefinite Exemption From The Essential Functions Of A Job Is Not A Reasonable Accommodation Under The ADA

An issue that confounds employers on a regular basis is whether the discharge of an employee who is unable to return to work after a medical leave will violate the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Most employers...more

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