Disability

News & Analysis as of

Is Obesity a Disability Under the ADA Not Without Physical Impairment Eighth Circuit Rules

Obesity does not meet the definition of a “disability” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for either the discrimination or “regarded as” provisions of the statute, a panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals...more

Morbid Obesity Must Have Physiological Cause to Gain ADA Protection

Since the Americans with Disabilities Act was adopted, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has considered morbid obesity to fall within the definition of a protected disability. Earlier this month, the Eighth Circuit...more

Courts Cut the Fat, Clarify When Obesity is a Disability Under the ADA

The ADA prohibits discrimination based upon actual or perceived medical disabilities and requires employers to accommodate employees with disabilities subject to certain exceptions. The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 effectively...more

Obesity Alone as a Disability? Slim Chance, Says Eighth Circuit

A memorable scene from the dark comedy “In Bruges” features a clash between a disgraced Irish assassin, played by Colin Farrell, and three portly American tourists after Farrell’s character warns them not to climb the narrow...more

Eleventh Circuit Recognizes Pregnancy Complications as ADA Disability, but Says Employer Does Not Have to Waive Mandatory Overtime

The Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act significantly broadened the definition of protected disabled individuals under federal antidiscrimination law. In subsequent rules implementing ADAAA, the Equal Employment...more

Obesity Not A Disability Without An Underlying Medical Cause

In June of last year, we pondered whether obesity is a mere physical characteristic or a disability protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as now amended by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act...more

All in the Family: California Court Holds Employers Have to Accommodate Disability of Employee's Family Member

A California Court of Appeal for the first time has decided that an employer has a duty to reasonably accommodate an applicant or employee who is associated with a disabled person who needs the employee’s assistance. This...more

Question #274: Opining on Obesity

Question: We have a large meat processing facility in Northern Minnesota. We were recently hiring for one of our positions in the plant requiring work with large mechanical equipment. Because we consider this position to be...more

Eighth Circuit Holds That Obesity That Is Not Caused By an Underlying Physiological Condition Is Not a Covered “Impairment” Under...

In Morriss v. BNSF Railway Company, the Eighth Circuit recently held that obesity that is not caused by an underlying physiological condition is not a covered “impairment” for purposes of the Americans with Disabilities Act...more

What is a Permanent Partial Disability Award?

After an employee returns to work after time off from a work-related injury, an employer may be tempted to believe they are off the hook for future payments. Many employers, however, are surprised to find that several months...more

Update on Significant DOT, FAA and Other Federal Agencies’ Aviation-Related Regulatory Actions - February 2016

This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update includes the recently signed U.S.-Mexico bilateral agreement that liberalizes air services between the two countries, new Cuba-related regulations loosening...more

Do Work Related Injuries Have an Impact on Future Earnings?

A recent study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, “Economic Consequences of Workplace Injuries in the United States: Findings from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth focused on the long term...more

Canadian Employment News Series - January 2016: Top 10 Canadian Employment Law Cases of 2015

With 2015 now behind us and our sights set on 2016, we have compiled the following list of ten significant Canadian employment law cases from 2015. This roundup is a cross-section of decisions from across the country,...more

Don't Get Lost in the Weeds: Medical Marijuana is Now Legal in New York

On January 6, 2016, the Commissioner of Health of the State of New York certified that the medical marijuana program established by New York’s Compassionate Care Act could be implemented in accordance with public health and...more

Federal Court Finds Employee’s Explanation for Failed Drug Test Insufficient to Provide Notice of a Disability

Most employers are well aware that, under state and federal disability laws, an employee with a disability is entitled to reasonable accommodations in the workplace. What can sometimes be less clear for employers is...more

Fifth Circuit Upholds ERISA Disability and Life Benefit Denials

In two decisions issued last month, the Fifth Circuit upheld ERISA plan denials of disability and life benefits, confirming its deferential approach in most ERISA benefit cases....more

Serial Accommodation Lawsuits Against Restaurants

Earlier this year, we reported on a spike in the number of ADA public accommodation lawsuits being filed against businesses in Illinois. (FR Alert: Wave of ADA Public Accommodation Lawsuits Continues to Spread, Hits...more

Before Signing Anything on Behalf of Someone Else, Talk to Your Special Needs Planner

People lack the ability to sign documents for various reasons. In some cases, a person has suffered from a disability since birth and has never had the mental capacity to make decisions for himself. In other cases, an injury...more

The State Education Department Releases a ‘Blueprint for Improved Results for Students With Disabilities’

Last week, the New York State Education Department announced that it has developed a “blueprint” for local school districts to develop effective special education programs for students with disabilities. SED stated that the...more

Website Accessibility Regulations Delayed Again! (For At Least Three Years!!)

In a surprise announcement with major repercussions for businesses and their websites, on November 19, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in its Fall 2015 Statement of Regulatory Priorities that it is delaying—by at...more

ABLE Programs and Beneficiaries Boosted by Helpful Guidance from IRS and Social Security Administration

The Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (ABLE Act), one of the few recent examples of bipartisan cooperation on a new category of tax and budget expenditure, is both well-intentioned in its...more

DOL Issues Proposed Revisions to Disability Plan Claims Regulations

The Department of Labor published proposed changes to its regulations governing disability claims and appeals in the Federal Register on November 18, 2015, and invited comments. The stated purpose of the proposed changes is...more

Employment Law Update - ADA with a side of FMLA: A Cornucopia of Legal Issues

Mixing the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Medical Leave Act can result in a smorgasbord of legal issues for many employers. While determining whether an employee has a qualifying serious health condition...more

Jury Sides with FedEx in ADA Failure to Accommodate Case

For those of you who think the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) means you have to do whatever a disabled employee wants, I bring good news from of all sources, a jury in California. This case had it all—an employee...more

Betriebliches Eingliederungsmanagement (BEM) vor krankheitsbedingter Kündigung

Sind Arbeitnehmer innerhalb eines Jahres länger als sechs Wochen ununterbrochen oder wiederholt arbeitsunfähig erkrankt, muss der Arbeitgeber nach § 84 Abs. 2 SGB IX klären, wie die Arbeitsunfähigkeit überwunden und wie der...more

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