Essential Functions

News & Analysis as of

When Is Telecommuting a Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA?

Earlier this month, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals shared its perspective on this question and held that telecommuting was not a reasonable accommodation for an employee where her essential job duties required regular and...more

ADA “Direct Threat” Defense Just Got a Little Easier

The rights and protections afforded to those with disabilities by the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) are not without limitations. Accommodations for disabled employees must be reasonable, and the employee must still...more

Employer Not Required by ADA to Permit Employee to Telecommute

Reversing an earlier panel decision, the Sixth Circuit has held that an employee who was unable to regularly and consistently attend work was not a qualified individual with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities...more

11th Circuit Upholds Bar on Claims by Jail Officer with Cancer

The Eleventh Circuit recently held that an officer at a county jail in Florida who was undergoing treatment for cancer cannot proceed with her Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") claim because she failed to identify a...more

Sixth Circuit Rejects EEOC's Demand for Telecommuting as ADA Accommodation

Last year, a panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held 2-1 that the Americans with Disabilities Act required Ford Motor Company to allow a buyer with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to possibly telecommute up to four...more

Is Telecommuting A Reasonable Accommodation, Or Is It Not?

In the context of a lawsuit brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a recent court decision says that “regular attendance” is an essential function of the job. But what is “regular attendance”?...more

Employers Can Decide That Physical Presence at the Workplace is an Essential Function

On April 10, 2015, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its long-awaited en banc decision in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Ford Motor Company following a vacated panel decision from April 2014 in which a...more

En Banc Sixth Circuit Decision Holds that Telecommuting Was Not a Reasonable Accommodation Under the Americans with Disabilities...

Last Friday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals sitting en banc held that telecommuting up to four days a week was not a reasonable accommodation under the ADA for a disabled Ford Motor Co. employee. The decision, EEOC v....more

6th Circuit Provides Road Map for ADA Accommodation Cases

A recent Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals case provides employers with a great example of how to evaluate accommodation requests under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In EEOC v. Ford Motor Co., a case which...more

6th Circuit: Telecommuting Not a Reasonable Accommodation

On Friday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued its decision in EEOC v. Ford Motor Company, No. 12-2484, 2015 WL 1600305 (6th Cir. Apr. 10, 2015), an ADA case involving telecommuting as a reasonable...more

Sixth Circuit Holds Telecommuting Not a Reasonable Accommodation Where Regular and Predictable On-Site Job Attendance is an...

Courts have repeatedly recognized that “regular job attendance” is an essential function of most jobs that need not be altered in order to reasonably accommodate a disabled employee. This common sense notion, however, has...more

Thanks, Ford! Hard-Fought Win Against EEOC In ADA-Telecommuting Case Is Welcome News For All Employers

Last Friday, the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit found in favor of Ford Motor Company in a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. ...more

En Banc 6th Circuit Returns to Practicality, Finding Regular and Predictable Attendance to be Essential Function of Position

In May 2014, we reported on an opinion of a divided panel of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit embracing the position of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that virtual full-time telecommuting could...more

Unreasonably Sporadic Telecommuting

One year ago, we reported on the Sixth Circuit’s ruling that telecommuting could be a reasonable accommodation for a resale steel buyer at Ford suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. There, the employee requested to...more

More Road Rules: Telecommuting as a “Reasonable Accommodation” Under ADA Gets an Update

Last year, my colleague Gabe Jiran, had a series of posts on telecommuting as a possible reasonable accommodation. In one post, he reported on a Sixth Circuit decision that allowed an employee (and EEOC) to proceed to trial...more

The Supreme Court's Opinion in UPS v. Young

In an update to a previous post, the highly anticipated United States Supreme Court decision in UPS v. Young was announced last week. In a 6-3 decision, the Court vacated rulings of the district court and the Fourth Circuit...more

Pregnancy: Employers’ newest “accommodation obligation”

A divided U.S. Supreme Court decided last week that employers covered by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (part of Title VII) may be required to make reasonable accommodations for work restrictions caused by pregnancy and...more

The Heavy Burden of Light Duty: Young v. UPS

On March 25, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Young v. UPS, which employer and employee groups alike hoped would clarify whether employers must provide light duty and other workplace...more

Employment Law Update after Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc.: Must Employers Provide Accommodations for Pregnant Employees?

A pregnant employee walks into your office and tells you that she has a lifting restriction of twenty pounds and needs an accommodation because she can’t do her job. What do you do? In Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc.,...more

Supreme Court Sends UPS Pregnancy Accommodation Case to Trial

The U.S. Supreme Court handed a defeat to United Parcel Service (UPS) this week. At issue was whether UPS violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) by requiring a pregnant woman with lifting restrictions to go on leave...more

Young v. UPS Calls for a Review of Accommodations Offered to Pregnant Employees

On March 25, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a plaintiff can demonstrate at least a genuine dispute as to whether an employer violates the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) by accommodating certain categories of...more

BREAKING NEWS! U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Important Pregnancy Discrimination Case

Employers should take note of this week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding workplace accommodations to pregnant employees. The question presented was whether the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) requires...more

Employers Asserting ADA Direct Threat Defense Do Not Have to Prove Actual Threat

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers from discriminating against a qualified person with a disability, or refusing to provide that person with a reasonable accommodation that would allow them to perform the...more

Supreme Court Opens The Floodgates To Pregnancy Discrimination Cases

This week, in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., the United States Supreme Court found that, under Title VII, employers must provide pregnant employees with the same accommodations that they provide to employees in similar...more

Supreme Court Decision Forces Many Employers to Extend Light Duty Work to Pregnant Employees

In recent years, employment attorneys and HR professionals have been anxiously discussing a series of lawsuits addressing when employers must afford light duty work to pregnant employees. In the past, courts generally held...more

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