Disability

News & Analysis as of

New DOT Rules Close Unintended Gap Regarding ADA Obligation To Modify Operating Practices

The U.S. Department of Transportation ("DOT") has issued new rules effective July 13, 2015 requiring transportation entities to modify their operating practices in certain circumstances to accommodate disabled passengers....more

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

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

DOJ Shifts Position on Web Access: Stating In Court Filings That Public Accommodations Have a “Pre-Existing” Obligation to Make...

What a difference five years makes. In September 2010, the Justice Department (DOJ) announced in an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) that it would issue new regulations under Title III of the ADA to address the...more

The IRS’s Proposed ABLE Regulations: Obstacles for Launching State Programs, and Potential Solutions

The IRS’s recently-published proposed regulations for Section 529A qualified ABLE programs have taken some wind out of the sails of state program administrators and potential program managers who had hoped for regulations...more

Rocky Mountain High Part II: Colorado’s Highest Court Approves Employer’s Stance that Employee Toke is No Joke

Last week the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that an employer can fire an employee for use of medical marijuana away from the workplace. The case is Coats v. Dish Network, No. 13SC394 (June 15, 2015). The plaintiff is a...more

Colorado Decision Shows Continuing Tension Between Legal Marijuana and Employer Drug Testing

Last week, the Colorado Supreme Court rejected the claim of a quadriplegic employee terminated for testing positive for marijuana. In Coats v. Dish Network, LLC, the plaintiff possessed a valid medical marijuana card issued...more

When is enough, enough? Managing difficult employees in the human rights context

Not surprisingly, employers seek to hire individuals who will perform the duties of their job diligently, honestly and faithfully. Unfortunately, instances can occur where employers find themselves facing an unmotivated...more

Taking the Stress Out of Employee Claims of Disability Caused by the Stress of Working for a Particular Supervisor

Navigating an employee’s claim of stress-related disability continues to challenge employers. Recently, the California Court of Appeal provided helpful guidance for employers when an employee claimed to be unable to work...more

IRS’s Proposed Section 529A Regulations for ABLE Programs: A Mixed Bag

The IRS today published, right on deadline, its proposed regulations relating to Section 529A state-sponsored “qualified ABLE programs,” under which tax-advantaged investment accounts may be established to fund future...more

EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Continued: Did the Supreme Court Pave the Way for ADA Claims Based on Nonobvious Disabilities?

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court decided EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch, a Title VII case involving religious discrimination. While the case did not directly involve the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the...more

Employment Law - June 2015

Actual Knowledge by Employer Not Necessary for Title VII Religious Discrimination Claim, U.S. Supreme Court Rules - Why it matters: In a closely watched case, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with a teenage applicant to...more

What to Do When Your Child Turns 18, Part I: Education and Employment

At some point in their child's early adolescence, most families suddenly realize that the services and programs that they rely on to care for the child will soon disappear and be replaced by radically different benefits. ...more

FCC Releases Emergency Information Accessibility Rules for Second-Screen Devices and Grants Compliance Waivers

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released the text of its Second Report and Order (R&O) adopting rules requiring multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) to pass through the secondary audio stream...more

ERISA (9th Cir.) A Day Late, But Not A Dollar Short — Counting The 180 Day Appeal Period Gets Easier For Claimants

You know that under ERISA regulations a claimant has at least 180 days to appeal a benefit denial. ERISA plans set out contractual timelines for appeals. But what happens when that 180 day period runs out on a weekend?...more

“Burt’s Law” Places New and Enhanced Responsibilities on Employees and Volunteers In Facilities Providing Care for Those with...

According to press reports across North Carolina, Burt Powell was a resident of a group home for adults with mental disabilities. His parents placed him in the facility to increase his chances of achieving a more independent...more

Today's Immigration Debate Impacts California Employment Law and Litigation

A year ago, the California Supreme Court limited damages in employment discrimination claims brought under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) when an employer discovers it employed an unauthorized worker....more

Quirky Question #261, When will our employee return?

Question: We’re a large company with offices in many locations, including in California, Minnesota, Washington and New York City. We often have disabled employees provide doctors’ notes that say they are unable to...more

Medical Marijuana in HUD-Assisted Properties: Update Since HUD’s January 2011 Memorandum

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classifies marijuana as a Schedule I Controlled Substance, which recognizes no medical use. In January 2011, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued an...more

[Event] Sheppard Mullin's Spring 2015 Labor & Employment Law Update - May 5, New York, NY

Please join our experienced attorneys for an informative and lively discussion on a variety of timely topics, including: - Leading Court Decisions and Key Legislative Developments in 2015 - Psychological Disabilities...more

New York Law Creates Quandary for Businesses with New “Accessible Icon”

Despite the url and frequent federal focus of this blog, it is important to remember that many states and municipalities have their own disability access laws and regulations with which businesses must comply. ...more

Reasonable, Not Perfect, Efforts Required to Avoid Having Constructive Knowledge of an Employee's Disability

What happened? Under the Equality Act 2010, employers are required to make reasonable adjustments where they know, or "ought reasonably to know", that an employee has a disability. This is commonly referred to as actual or...more

Transgender Litigant Challenges Exclusion of "Gender Identity Disorder" in Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12191, et seq. ("ADA"), expressly excludes from its protections individuals whose gender identity disorder is not the result of a physical impairment. The so-called "GID...more

Recent $50,000 Settlement Serves as Reminder that Employers Do Not Always Know What’s Best for their Employees

Question: Your employee has a heart attack and wants to return to work sooner than you think he should. There’s nothing wrong with giving the employee additional time off or terminating the employee if you think the job will...more

Justice Department Settlement With edX Suggests Heightened Scrutiny of Online Course Accessibility and Potential Strategies for...

On April 2, the Department of Justice entered into a settlement agreement with edX, a major online college course provider, over alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) related to the accessibility of...more

Supreme Court Vacates 4th Circuit in UPS Pregnancy Discrimination Case, But Rejects EEOC's "Most Favored Employee" Argument

Since the case was argued on December 3, 2014, practitioners and clients alike have been anxiously awaiting the Supreme Court's decision in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc. That wait is over as the Supreme Court issued a...more

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