Disability Hiring & Firing

News & Analysis as of

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

Employers Need to Consider Accommodation Requests Made at Any Time During a Disabled Employee’s Employment

Can an employer simply ignore a request by a disabled employee for an accommodation made in a meeting that could lead to the employee’s termination? A recent federal case from Wisconsin says no. In the case, the former...more

Employers and medical marijuana: Are California's anti-drug policies up in smoke?

What’s an employer to do when faced with employees using marijuana in or out of the workplace? How should employers respond to employees who use or possess marijuana legally under California law? How does such use or...more

New York State Adds Protected Classifications and Remedies for Workplace Discrimination

The new laws are designed to protect equality for female employees in New York State; Governor also proposes regulations that would extend protections to transgender employees. On October 21, New York Governor Andrew...more

After He Allegedly Showed Up Drunk to Practice, Should Former USC Football Coach Steve Sarkisian Have Been Placed on FMLA Leave...

A question was posed to me on Twitter this past week: Shouldn’t former University of Southern California (USC) football coach Steve Sarkisian have been placed on FMLA leave to get treatment for apparent alcoholism instead of...more

When is an Employee’s Disability a Factor in his Dismissal?

On June 30, 2015, the Court of Appeal of Alberta released its decision in Stewart v Elk Valley Coal Corporation, 2015 ABCA 225 (“Stewart”) and clarifying what constitutes discrimination. In Stewart, the employer...more

Alcoholism and how USC may have violated ADA by firing Steve Sarkisian

On October 12, 2015, Steve Sarkisian was fired as head coach of the University of Southern California (USC) football team. While USC contends Sarkisian was fired for “cause,” there is no question that his alcohol-related...more

Alcoholic employee reinstated after employer’s compassionate approach put in question seriousness of previous warnings

There is an old, and somewhat cynical saying, that no good deed goes unpunished. While I personally disagree with that saying, one employer must believe it after a decision it received. In the case, an adjudicator...more

Sharp Healthcare Sued by EEOC for Disability Discrimination

San Diego Surgical Center Denied Hire to Applicant Due to Perceived Disability - SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Sharp HealthCare, an operator of hospitals and medical facilities, violated federal law when it denied hire to a job...more

“You quit!” “No I Didn’t, I’m Sick!”

In Betts v. IBM Canada Ltd., the Court was faced with a dispute between Mr. Betts, who claimed he was legitimately absent from his employment due to illness, and his employer IBM, which claimed that Mr. Betts effectively...more

Tennessee Supreme Court Throws Out Applicant's Workers' Compensation Retaliation Claim Against Prospective Employer

On August 21, 2015, the Tennessee Supreme Court held that a job applicant does not have a cause of action under the Tennessee Workers' Compensation Act (TWCA) against a prospective employer for failure to hire based on the...more

Inability to Work Under A Particular Supervisor Is Not a Disability in California

In response to standard negative performance feedback from a supervisor, an employee takes a leave of absence due to stress and submits a medical note stating that the employee must be transferred to another department as an...more

Colorado Supreme Court Upholds Firing For Medical Marijuana Use

In a closely watched case, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that an employer could lawfully terminate an employee who tested positive for marijuana in a random drug test, even though the employee’s use of marijuana was...more

Roto Rooter to Pay $100,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Charge

Employer Fired Iraq War Veteran Because of Service-Related Disabilities, Agency Claimed - MINNEAPOLIS -- In a conciliation agreement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Roto Rooter Services...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

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

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

[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

Do You Have to Guess?

Employers don’t have to guess an employee’s disability and force an accommodation under the ADA. In Walz v. Ameriprise Financial, Inc., No. 14-2495 (8th Cir. March 9, 2015), an employer fired its employee for repeated...more

California School Teacher’s Claim That She Was Fired Due to a Computer Error

Rommel v. Los Angeles Unified School District, No. B253405 (December 5, 2014): In a recent unpublished ruling, the California Court of Appeal reversed a trial court’s judgment in favor of a school district and against a...more

10 Steps to Hiring Without Violating Disability Discrimination Laws

Regardless of whether a job applicant has an apparent disability, employers should always follow these 10 steps to reduce the risk of liability for running afoul of the anti-discrimination provisions of the ADA or the FEHA....more

The need for actual medical evidence in disability cases

Employers frequently call with concerns about employees who self disclose an alleged disabling condition that is not readily apparent, and who claim substantial limitations as a result. The employer’s concerns center on when...more

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