News & Analysis as of

Essential Functions

Medical Marijuana Users Can Sue Their Employers

by Murtha Cullina on

In a case of first impression, a federal trial judge has found that, under Connecticut law, an employer can be sued for refusing to hire an applicant who tested positive for medical marijuana use. See Noffsinger v. SSC...more

Vague, open-ended medical leave denied

by McAfee & Taft on

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to consider a leave of absence for an employee due to a medical condition as a form of accommodation. However, that requirement is not without limitations. A recent...more

Temps in Tenth Circuit Face Stricter Scrutiny When Seeking Time Off as Reasonable Accommodation

by Bryan Cave on

On July 6, 2017, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reiterated that physical attendance in the workplace is an essential function of most jobs and emphasized this is particularly...more

When is an employee a qualified individual with a disability under the MHRA?

by PretiFlaherty on

Maine’s highest court recently weighed in on what it means to be a qualified individual with a disability under the Maine Human Rights Act. Affirming a summary judgment in favor of the employer in Carcinella v. Mercy...more

States Diverge on Employment Law Protections for Medical Marijuana Users

Several courts have held that employees are not protected from termination or other adverse employment action for medical marijuana use, even in cases where they hold a medical marijuana card under state law, when they test...more

Fifth Circuit Finds Telecommuting Not Reasonable for Accommodation for Litigation Attorney

Contrary to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) position discussed in last week’s EmployNews, federal courts continue to allow employers to require employees to actually come to work. Last month, the Fifth...more

Workplace Odors Can Provide Basis for Telecommuting Arrangement

As technology makes it more possible for employees to work from remote locations, employers are increasingly faced with requests from employees to work from home. When these requests are based on medical reasons, the employer...more

Request for Leave Not a Reasonable Accommodation for Temporary Employee

by McGuireWoods LLP on

In a decision with important ramifications for temporary staffing agencies and employers that use their services, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held that the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) does not entitle...more

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

Nurse’s Disability Discrimination Claims May Proceed To Trial, New Jersey Supreme Court Rules

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

A registered nurse employed by a New Jersey health care system for approximately 10 years may proceed to a jury trial with her disability and perceived disability claims under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, 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

Telecommuting May Not Be A Reasonable Accommodation

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

The Fifth Circuit recently upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit against an employer who denied an employee’s request to telecommute on the grounds that regular attendance at work is an essential function of her job as a...more

Fifth Circuit Holds Reporting to Work Regularly is Essential Function of Attorney’s Job Under the ADA

In a decision that will provide some solace to employers asked to permit remote work as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently...more

Fifth Circuit Says Regular Attendance at Work is an Essential Function of Most Jobs

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: In a recent win for employers, the Fifth Circuit clarified that opened-ended or unlimited requests to work from home are unreasonable under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and may be rejected...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

ADA Tip: Remember To Include GINA Safe Harbor Language When Requesting Medical Information For Purposes Of Evaluating An...

by Bryan Cave on

Although employers are generally prohibited from obtaining medical information about their employees, they are permitted to do so in certain circumstances, including when such information is necessary to evaluate a job...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

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

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