Essential Functions

News & Analysis as of

The Ninth Circuit Joins Its Sister Circuits in Ruling That an Employee Who Threatens Co-Workers with Violence Is Not “Qualified”...

The Ninth Circuit released a precedent-setting Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) decision yesterday, and it’s a big win for employers.  The Court held that an employee who makes “serious and credible threats of violence...more

Does Your ADA Accommodation Have To Be Perfect, Or Can It Just Get The Job Done?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) requires that employers provide “reasonable accommodations” to those with disabilities to perform the essential functions of their jobs. These accommodations cannot impose an undue...more

Fourth Circuit Affirms EEOC’s Resounding Summary Judgment Defeat in ADA Case

In a case we have previously blogged about several times due to spoliation sanctions imposed on the EEOC – most recently here - the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed a ruling out of the Middle District of...more

New CFRA Amendments Take Effect July 1

On July 1, 2015, as previously reported, new California Family Rights Act ("CFRA") regulations will take effect. These amended regulations clarify areas of confusion and bring the CFRA into closer alignment with its federal...more

Telecommuting May Not Always Be a Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA

An en banc panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (Court) recently upheld the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Ford Motor Company in EEOC v. Ford Motor Company, on the basis that telecommuting was not...more

Second Circuit Upholds Employers' Use of Effective ADA Accommodation Over "Perfect" One Sought by Employee

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities in order for them to perform the essential functions of their jobs. Employers and...more

Supreme Court: Motive Matters in Hiring Decisions

Last week, in EEOC. v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., the Supreme Court addressed religious accommodations under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The background of the case dates to 2008. A young woman...more

Two Good Reasons to Keep Your Company's Job Descriptions Current and Accurate

Job descriptions often fall to the bottom of the human resource “to do” list. An audit of almost any company’s job descriptions will reveal job descriptions that are outdated, vague and carried forward from the company’s...more

Bad News, Good News: Disability Discrimination Plaintiff Sometimes Need Not Show He Was Qualified, But May Never Recover Punitive...

In a decision to be officially released on May 19, 2015, the Connecticut Appellate Court has addressed two interesting issues in the state law of employment discrimination, one of which is of considerable importance (and...more

Even Under the ADA, Some Jobs Require Being On-Site; Court of Appeals Decision Offers Lessons

Last month in EEOC v. Ford Motor Co., 782 F.3d 753 (6th Cir. 2015) (en banc), the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit found that a Ford employee was not qualified for her job under the ADA because she was not...more

Being “Qualified” Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Being Able to Perform “Essential Functions” of Job

Back in September 2013, I reported on a seemingly never-ending case of Tomick v. UPS and mentioned that it was headed to its second appeal at the Connecticut Appellate Court. (I talked about the history of the case and the...more

Sixth Circuit Sides with Ford Motor Company in ADA Telecommuting Case

Employers often grapple with what constitutes a reasonable accommodation under the American with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). This issue becomes increasingly complex when evaluating whether telecommuting is an appropriate and...more

The ‘interactive process’ for handling work restrictions during pregnancy

Our first segments in our six-part series on pregnancy in the workplace focused on how the ADA, FMLA and PDA apply in the workplace to employees before, during, and after pregnancy and child birth. In this segment, we narrow...more

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

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