Essential Functions

News & Analysis as of

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

U.S. Supreme Court Vacates Fourth Circuit’s Decision Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act

On Wednesday, in a 6-3 decision with Justice Breyer writing for the majority, the Supreme Court revived Peggy Young’s pregnancy discrimination claim against UPS under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) in Young v. United...more

Supreme Court Issues Decision in Young v. UPS: A Duty To Accommodate Pregnant Employees?

The Supreme Court of the United States recently issued its decision in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc.. Vacating and remanding the Fourth Circuit’s decision, the Court concluded that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act...more

Employers Take Note: The Supreme Court’s Game-Changing Decision in Young v. UPS Requires Review of Pregnancy Accommodation...

Wednesday, the Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated decision in the closely watched case of Young v. UPS, holding that a plaintiff may be able to prove unlawful failure to accommodate a pregnancy-related condition through...more

Supreme Court Strikes Down Employer's Light Duty Policy in Pregnancy Discrimination Case

Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision that an employee should have her day in court to determine whether or not United Parcel Service, Inc. violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act when it denied...more

Supreme Court Gives Pregnant Employees a Path Toward Securing Workplace Accommodations

All across America this morning, pregnant employees are screaming out in muted shouts of joy and giving each other belly bumps. Last year, I reported on the EEOC’s recent pregnancy discrimination guidance, which interpreted...more

Pregnancy Not So Favored

Are pregnant employees entitled to workplace accommodations under Title VII? Does it matter whether you offer light duty work to employees injured on the job? The Supreme Court has ruled on Young v. UPS and we still don’t...more

Supreme Court Decides Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc.

On March 25, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., No. 12-1226, holding that a pregnant worker who seeks to show disparate treatment under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act may do so under...more

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Decision in Young v. UPS

The United State Supreme Court issued its much anticipated decision in the case of Young v. UPS on March 24, 2015. As of now, Young’s pregnancy discrimination claim remains alive and well....more

Lie Rejecter: Employer's Fraud Defense to Disabled Employee's Claim Fails

It's no secret that in formulating their defense to employment claims, employers often seek to discredit employees' allegations through the employees' own contradictory statements or positions taken. This issue arises most...more

Disability Discrimination Claims Were Properly Dismissed On Summary Judgment

Tony Nealy worked as a solid waste equipment operator for the City of Santa Monica before injuring his knee in July 2003 while moving a large bin full of food waste. Nealy was temporarily totally disabled due to the injury...more

FMLA Offers Employers No Protection against Changes in Essential Job Functions or Undue Hardship

A federal district court recently ruled that an inability to perform essential job functions plays no role in determining whether an employee qualifies for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Unlike the Americans...more

What Will Be the Fate of Your (Facially Neutral) Light-Duty Policies After Young v. UPS?

With its forthcoming decision in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., the Supreme Court of the United States is expected to bring some much-needed clarity to the issue of what the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), 42...more

Employer Is Not Required To Eliminate An Essential Job Function In Order To Reasonably Accommodate Disability

In Nealy v. City of Santa Monica, 2015 WL 632228, the Second District Court of Appeals held that an injured worker was properly denied the right to return to work where he was unable to perform essential functions of his job...more

California Court Of Appeal Finds The City Of Santa Monica Was Not Required To Eliminate Essential Job Functions To Accommodate...

The California Court of Appeal for the State of California, Second Appellate District upheld the City of Santa Monica's ("City") award of summary judgment in Nealy v. City of Santa Monica (Cal. Ct. App., Jan. 21, 2015,...more

Reasonable Accommodation of a Disability Does Not Require Elimination of an Essential Job Function

The federal Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination in employment against a qualified individual on the basis of disability, and discrimination includes failing to make a reasonable accommodation. The...more

Reasonable Accommodations Under the ADA Do Not Require Changing a Job's Essential Functions

Weldon Williams, a pharmacist, suffered from diabetes which limited his ability to stand for extended periods of time. Williams sued his former employer Revco Discount Drug Centers, Inc., d/b/a CVS Pharmacy, Inc. ("CVS")...more

Beyond Essential Functions: The Role of Job Reassignments in Accommodating Employee Disabilities

Imagine for a moment that you are the HR Manager for a company with many physically demanding jobs. One of your employees submits a doctor’s note prohibiting her from lifting anything over 25 pounds. Mindful of your...more

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