News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court Vacates 4th Circuit in UPS Pregnancy Discrimination Case, But Rejects EEOC's "Most Favored Employee" Argument

Since the case was argued on December 3, 2014, practitioners and clients alike have been anxiously awaiting the Supreme Court's decision in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc. That wait is over as the Supreme Court issued a...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Pregnancy Accommodations

This is one of our "ones to watch for 2015" – Young v. UPS. The legal question certified by the Supreme Court in 2014 was: Whether, and in what circumstances, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires an employer that...more

The Interactive Process Dance, Part Two: What Happens When the Music Stops?

Part one of this two-part series covered the details of the interactive process in California and discussed a scenario in which the employee fails to respond to the employer’s attempts to communicate on an accommodation to...more

Employment Appeal Tribunal gives guidance on what constitutes sufficient knowledge of a disability to give rise to a duty to make...

In Donelien v Liberata, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) has held that an employer did not have constructive knowledge of an employee’s disability, even though further steps could have been taken to investigate her...more

The Impact of the Open Internet Order on Accessibility

The Order does not forbear from enforcing the requirement in Section 225 that telecommunications relay service (TRS) be made available to persons with hearing and speech disabilities, such that they may have access to...more

Do You Have to Guess?

Employers don’t have to guess an employee’s disability and force an accommodation under the ADA. In Walz v. Ameriprise Financial, Inc., No. 14-2495 (8th Cir. March 9, 2015), an employer fired its employee for repeated...more

New District of Columbia Pregnancy Accommodation Statute to Become Effective on March 3, 2015

Barring adverse congressional review, the District of Columbia’s Protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act of 2014 (PPWFA) will become effective on March 3, 2015. The new statute gives pregnant workers significantly broader...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

Reasonable Accommodation and the Interactive Process—an Employer Prevails

An employer’s obligation to engage in the interactive process and to provide a reasonable accommodation to a qualified disabled employee as required by the Fair Employment and Housing Act is no simple task. More often than...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

Jury in EEOC Suit Says Old Dominion Freight Line Must Pay Former Driver $119,612 for Disability Bias

Trucking Company Fired Pickup and Delivery Driver Who Self-Reported Alcohol Abuse, Federal Agency Charged - FORT SMITH, Ark. -- A federal jury has found that Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc., a trucking company...more

The need for actual medical evidence in disability cases

Employers frequently call with concerns about employees who self disclose an alleged disabling condition that is not readily apparent, and who claim substantial limitations as a result. The employer’s concerns center on when...more

Employment Law 101: Americans with Disabilities Act

Who does it apply to: The law applies to all employers with 15 or more employees. What is the issue: It is against the law to discriminate against an employee or a prospective employee based on a disability the person...more

Additional Leave May Be Required Under ADA Even if Maximum Leave Is Exhausted

In Casteel v. Charter Communications, Inc., No. C13-5520 RJB (W.D. Wash. Oct. 23, 2014), a federal judge in Western Washington denied an employer’s motion for summary judgment on a failure-to-accommodate claim under the...more

Wal-Mart Stores East Will Pay $72,500 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Retailer Refused to Reasonably Accommodate Applicant With End-Stage Renal Disease, Federal Agency Charged - BALTIMORE - Wal-Mart Stores East, L.P., will pay $72,500 and provide significant equitable relief to settle a...more

Accessible Technology

As most of our readers know, companies that are federal contractors and subcontractors are subject to new rules (which became effective on March 24, 2014) with respect to individuals with disabilities. The new rules amended...more

EEOC Sues FedEx Ground for Failing to Accommodate Deaf Employees and Recruits

The EEOC recently announced that it is suing FedEx Ground Package System for allegedly violating the Americans With Disabilities Act in their dealings with deaf and hearing-impaired workers nationwide. The suit claims that...more

Is Firefighter's Fear of Fire an ADA Disability?

Although it might seem strange to suggest that a firefighter's fear of entering a burning building is a disability, that's exactly what a Texas jury decided. In the end, however, the Texas Supreme Court overturned the jury's...more

Kaiser Permanente to Pay $75,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

Worker With Hydrocephalus Was Denied a Free Job Coach to Assist With Training, Then Fired, Federal Agency Charged - SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Kaiser Permanente, the largest managed care organization in the United States,...more

A Reader Asks: “Is It Me, Or Has Job Interviewing Become Really Complicated?”

Last week, I wrote about the two situations in which an employer should ask an applicant about a disability or a religious belief or practice that might require reasonable accommodation. (As I emphasized last week, 99 percent...more

Deciphering Accommodation Requests under the ADA Not Clear Cut

Employers often take appropriate measures to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, ADA compliance efforts may be useless in situations where an accommodation request or disability is not...more

Inflexible Leave Policies and the EEOC

The last several years have seen the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) take an aggressive stance on inflexible leave policies. According to the EEOC, these policies – which subject employees to termination...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

Harrison Poultry Sued by EEOC for Disability Discrimination

Poultry Hatchery Fired Employee While on Approved Leave, Federal Agency Charged - ATLANTA - Harrison Poultry, Inc. a poultry hatchery located in Bethlehem, Ga., unlawfully terminated an employee with a disability who...more

Papa John’s Discriminated Against Employee with Down Syndrome, EEOC Charges in Suit

Pizza Delivery Company Unlawfully Refused Job Coach for Worker With Intellectual Disability and Then Fired Him, Federal Agency Charges - PHOENIX - PJ Utah LLC, PJ Cheese, Inc., and PJ United, Inc., collectively doing...more

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