News & Analysis as of

Essential Functions

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

Saved – Or Sunk – By the Job Description?

by Akerman LLP - HR Defense on

A job description identifying essential job functions can be an employer’s best friend—if drafted correctly. Two recent cases illustrate the importance of accurate job descriptions.Eddy Reyes was a sales representative for a...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

Employer Not Required to Pay for Medical Treatment or Provide Teamwork Structure as ADA Accommodations

A recent decision from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals illustrates the limits of employers’ obligations to accommodate employee disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Stevens v. Rite Aid Corp....more

The Heavy Burden of Light Duty in California: Court Assesses Multi-Million Dollar Disability Award

Many employers offer light duty programs to employees who are temporarily disabled. Reasonable accommodation obligations imposed by California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) may come into play when administering...more

Can You Fire The Needle-Phobic Pharmacist Who Refuses To Perform Immunizations?

As more and more pharmacies move into the role of providing immunizations, someone has to perform those immunizations. Often, this duty falls to the pharmacist. So, what happens when a pharmacist claims he cannot perform...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

Federal Court: Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act Requires Employer to Consider Jobs Other than Employee’s Current Job When...

In a recent case, a Maryland Federal court permitted a plaintiff to proceed to trial on her failure to accommodate claim under Maryland’s Fair Employment Practices Act (MFEPA), finding that under Maryland law the employer was...more

Is Never Returning to Work a Reasonable Accommodation? Fifth Circuit Says No

On March 15, 2017, in Moss v. Harris County Constable Precinct One, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed that an employer is not required to accommodate an employee who is requesting indefinite leave as a reasonable...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

Second Circuit Rejects Employee’s Trypanophobia Claim

by Shipman & Goodwin LLP on

You don’t need to look for a needle in a haystack to figure out this latest case from the Second Circuit. But you do need to know what “trypanophobia” is....more

Employee Absenteeism Due to Disability: What are Reasonable Accommodations?

by Ruder Ware on

One of the most troubling issues faced by human resource professionals is how to address an employee with a disability that impacts their ability to report for work. A good example is an employee who suffers from episodes of...more

Workwise: 5 Tips to Avoid Constructive Dismissal Claims

by Field Law on

A constructive dismissal claim arises when an employer unilaterally changes a fundamental term of the employment agreement and, while the employer has not directly terminated the employee, the employee feels as though they...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

Court rules employer not able to accommodate pregnant employee

by McAfee & Taft on

A recent ruling by the federal appeals court that covers Oklahoma reminds employers that they must treat pregnant employees with health conditions or work limitations the same as any other employee with health conditions or...more

Working At Home May Be A Reasonable Accommodation

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

Working at home may constitute a reasonable accommodation according to a recent decision in Rezvan v Phillips Electronics North America Corp., Case No. 15-cv-04767-HSG (N.D. Calif.) In Rezvan, a former employee with...more

Long-Term Shift of Essential Job Functions May Remove Them as Mandatory Qualifications

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) only requires employers to provide accommodations that allow the disabled employee or applicant to perform the essential functions of the job. The employer is not required to shift or...more

Does the ADA Protect a Customer Service Agent With Dissatisfied Customers? The Ninth Circuit Says No

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled against a failure-to accommodate claim brought by a customer service employee who was fired for poor performance. According to the court, the former employee, who suffered...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

Telework Under The ADA & Other Nondiscrimination Laws

by Littler on

A workforce that adheres to a traditional work style, or a consistent eight-hour workday in the same location – with no offsite work or interaction with business colleagues or customers – is increasingly becoming a relic in...more

The Fault Line Running Under “No Fault” Attendance Policies

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: Many employers have “no fault” attendance policies in place to manage employee absenteeism. Are these policies putting California employers on shaky ground? Read on... “No fault” attendance policies...more

The future of work: avoiding the nuclear reactor bird

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

There are lessons to be learnt about the future of work in one of my favourite episodes of The Simpsons titled ‘King-size Homer’, from the seventh season which aired over 20 years ago. As you may recall, Mr Burns tries...more

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