News & Analysis as of

Essential Functions Hiring & Firing

Can You Fire The Needle-Phobic Pharmacist Who Refuses To Perform Immunizations?

As more and more pharmacies move into the role of providing immunizations, someone has to perform those immunizations. Often, this duty falls to the pharmacist. So, what happens when a pharmacist claims he cannot perform...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

Is Never Returning to Work a Reasonable Accommodation? Fifth Circuit Says No

On March 15, 2017, in Moss v. Harris County Constable Precinct One, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed that an employer is not required to accommodate an employee who is requesting indefinite leave as a reasonable...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

Second Circuit Rejects Employee’s Trypanophobia Claim

by Shipman & Goodwin LLP on

You don’t need to look for a needle in a haystack to figure out this latest case from the Second Circuit. But you do need to know what “trypanophobia” is....more

Employee Absenteeism Due to Disability: What are Reasonable Accommodations?

by Ruder Ware on

One of the most troubling issues faced by human resource professionals is how to address an employee with a disability that impacts their ability to report for work. A good example is an employee who suffers from episodes of...more

Workwise: 5 Tips to Avoid Constructive Dismissal Claims

by Field Law on

A constructive dismissal claim arises when an employer unilaterally changes a fundamental term of the employment agreement and, while the employer has not directly terminated the employee, the employee feels as though they...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

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

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

Fourth Circuit Rejects Motor Carrier's Defense in Refusing to Hire Driver Diagnosed with Narcolepsy

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits employers from refusing to hire qualified individuals with a disability on the basis of their condition, if they can perform the essential functions of the job with or without...more

The Importance of Job Descriptions

by Tucker Arensberg, P.C. on

The importance of having accurate job descriptions for employees was illustrated by a recent case. In that case, the employee was let go by an employer after suffering a non-work related injury that the employer believed...more

Death Threats Lead To Employer's ADA Victory

by Fisher Phillips on

It is rare that the most employee-friendly of all federal appellate courts cites “common sense” in support of one of its decisions. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently did just that, however, dismissing a disability...more

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

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

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

by Pepper Hamilton LLP on

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

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

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

Fifth Circuit Finds Attendance to be Essential Job Function

In recent years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has taken the position that regular job attendance may not be an essential job function under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under the ADA, employers are...more

“Waive” Goodbye to Employer Liability Under the ADA for Voluntary Accommodations of Essential Job Functions

An employer faces a difficult situation when a temporarily disabled employee who cannot perform his or her essential job functions requests an accommodation. This situation becomes significantly more complicated when the...more

FedEx Cannot Exclude Diabetic Applicant From Mechanic Position Based on Need to Test Drive Trucks

The Americans with Disabilities Act contains a provision allowing exclusion of disabled persons from jobs when their medical condition contradicts federal licensing requirements. In practice, this exclusion has applied most...more

No Duty to Explore Cause of Poor Performance Absent Notice of Correlation to Disability

by Fenwick & West LLP on

A federal district court in Washington refused to require an employer, absent some notice from an employee of the need to do so, to investigate the cause of the employee’s poor performance to explore whether it might be...more

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