Reasonable Accommodation Disability

News & Analysis as of

Happy Birthday: The Americans with Disabilities Act Turns Twenty-Five

July 26, 2015 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), which created comprehensive federal protections for individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including the...more

Governor Signs Assembly Bill No. 987 – Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation is Protected Activity under FEHA

This bill was in direct response to the decision in Rope v. Auto-Clor System of Washington, Inc. (2013) 220 Cal.App.4th 635 (2013), which found that an employee who merely makes a request for an accommodation does not engage...more

Quirky Question #263, My Supervisor is Stressing Me Out!

Question: We have an employee who claims she has a mental disability involving stress and anxiety caused by working with her supervisor, and she has asked for a different supervisor as an accommodation. This doesn’t seem to...more

Recent Federal Appellate Decisions Acknowledge Limits on Employer’s Obligation to Engage in ADA Interactive Process

Employers are generally aware of the obligation under the Americans with Disabilities Act to engage in an “interactive process” with employees who require accommodations in order to perform their duties, but identifying the...more

New DOT Rules Close Unintended Gap Regarding ADA Obligation To Modify Operating Practices

The U.S. Department of Transportation ("DOT") has issued new rules effective July 13, 2015 requiring transportation entities to modify their operating practices in certain circumstances to accommodate disabled passengers....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

Rocky Mountain High Part II: Colorado’s Highest Court Approves Employer’s Stance that Employee Toke is No Joke

Last week the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that an employer can fire an employee for use of medical marijuana away from the workplace. The case is Coats v. Dish Network, No. 13SC394 (June 15, 2015). The plaintiff is a...more

Colorado Decision Shows Continuing Tension Between Legal Marijuana and Employer Drug Testing

Last week, the Colorado Supreme Court rejected the claim of a quadriplegic employee terminated for testing positive for marijuana. In Coats v. Dish Network, LLC, the plaintiff possessed a valid medical marijuana card issued...more

When is enough, enough? Managing difficult employees in the human rights context

Not surprisingly, employers seek to hire individuals who will perform the duties of their job diligently, honestly and faithfully. Unfortunately, instances can occur where employers find themselves facing an unmotivated...more

Taking the Stress Out of Employee Claims of Disability Caused by the Stress of Working for a Particular Supervisor

Navigating an employee’s claim of stress-related disability continues to challenge employers. Recently, the California Court of Appeal provided helpful guidance for employers when an employee claimed to be unable to work...more

EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Continued: Did the Supreme Court Pave the Way for ADA Claims Based on Nonobvious Disabilities?

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court decided EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch, a Title VII case involving religious discrimination. While the case did not directly involve the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the...more

Today's Immigration Debate Impacts California Employment Law and Litigation

A year ago, the California Supreme Court limited damages in employment discrimination claims brought under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) when an employer discovers it employed an unauthorized worker....more

Medical Marijuana in HUD-Assisted Properties: Update Since HUD’s January 2011 Memorandum

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) classifies marijuana as a Schedule I Controlled Substance, which recognizes no medical use. In January 2011, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued an...more

[Event] Sheppard Mullin's Spring 2015 Labor & Employment Law Update - May 5, New York, NY

Please join our experienced attorneys for an informative and lively discussion on a variety of timely topics, including: - Leading Court Decisions and Key Legislative Developments in 2015 - Psychological Disabilities...more

Reasonable, Not Perfect, Efforts Required to Avoid Having Constructive Knowledge of an Employee's Disability

What happened? Under the Equality Act 2010, employers are required to make reasonable adjustments where they know, or "ought reasonably to know", that an employee has a disability. This is commonly referred to as actual or...more

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

Government Group Scrutinizing Policies at Campuses

Racist chants by students at the University of Oklahoma have gained national attention in the press and on the internet. Challenges to policies on reasonable accommodations at colleges, universities and schools have also...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

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