News & Analysis as of

Essential Functions Americans with Disabilities Act

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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