Essential Functions Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

News & Analysis as of

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

Telework Under The ADA & Other Nondiscrimination Laws

A workforce that adheres to a traditional work style, or a consistent eight-hour workday in the same location – with no offsite work or interaction with business colleagues or customers – is increasingly becoming a relic in...more

Amtrak to Pay $112,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Federal Agency Charged Railroad Company Refused to Hire Qualified Machinist Due to Epilepsy - SEATTLE -- The Washington, D.C.-based National Passenger Railroad Corporation, better known as Amtrak, will pay $112,000 and...more

EEOC issues new guidance on leave of absence and ADA accommodations

On May 9, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a new guidance document addressing the intersection of employer-provided leave of absence and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This...more

Eleventh Circuit Recognizes Pregnancy Complications as ADA Disability, but Says Employer Does Not Have to Waive Mandatory Overtime

The Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act significantly broadened the definition of protected disabled individuals under federal antidiscrimination law. In subsequent rules implementing ADAAA, the Equal Employment...more

Fourth Circuit Says Driving May Not Be Essential Job Function for Traveling Salesperson

Most employers would assume that a traveling salesperson who could no longer drive due to a medical condition cannot perform the essential functions of her job. The Americans with Disabilities Act only requires accommodations...more

Is Driving An “Essential Function Of The Job” For Your Road Warriors?

If your employee isn’t a professional driver but spends a lot of time on the road, how “essential” a job function is driving for ADA purposes? Is driving “essential” at all? In what I consider to be a very significant...more

Employer Not Required to Accommodate Inability to Work Predictable Hours

In recent administrative actions, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has taken the position that regular attendance is not an essential job function under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The agency views...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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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