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Category Archives: Americans with Disabilities Act

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Be Careful With That! – Second Circuit Dismisses Failure to Accommodate Claim Brought by “Needle Phobic” Pharmacist

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Reasonable Accommodation, Terminations
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 pharmacists to include immunization certification as an “essential duty and responsibility.”  Rite Aid altered the job description to… Continue Reading

One Bite, Two Apples: Third Circuit Confirms That Requests For Leave Under the FMLA Can Simultaneously Qualify As A Request For A Reasonable Accommodation

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Family Medical Leave Act
The interplay between the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) is an area of confusion for most employers. This confusion is understandable as both statutes serve distinct purposes but require a covered employer to grant medical leave to employees in certain circumstances. Employees may require a leave of… Continue Reading

One Expensive Bottle of Orange Juice: Denial of a $1.69 Orange Juice Costs Dollar General $277, 565 in Back Pay and Damages

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Workplace Policies
On September 16, 2016, a Tennessee jury awarded Linda Atkins, a former Dolgencorp LLC (“Dollar General” or the “Company”) Sales Associate, $277,565 in back pay and compensatory damages after being fired for drinking orange juice prior to paying the $1.69 cost to prevent a diabetic episode.… Continue Reading

“Up in Smoke – Are Employers Required to Accommodate Medical Marijuana Use?”

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Medical Marijuana, Reasonable Accommodation, Workplace Policies
For reasons that are subject to debate, 4/20 has become known as a holiday for those who enjoy marijuana.  However, over the course of many years, the face of “pot culture” has changed to include not only those lighting up for recreational purposes, but also individuals suffering from chronic diseases seeking a better way to… Continue Reading

WORKPLACE SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Reasonable Accommodation, Uncategorized
Spring is beginning to bloom and for many of us this means taking time to stop and smell the flowers. However, those delightful smells of spring can trigger annoying and sometimes painful physical reactions for many who suffer from asthma and allergies.  The fresh (almost) spring air reminds us here at HR Legalist that many… Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Proposed Rule on Employee Wellness Programs and ADA Compliance

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Wellness Plans
On April 20, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) officially published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) providing guidance to employers as to how they can craft and implement employee wellness programs without violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which generally prohibits employers from making disability-related inquiries to employees or requiring that employees… Continue Reading

More than Just a Fable – Why the “Cat’s Paw” Matters for Employers

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Cat's Paw Liability, Discrimination, Retaliation, Terminations, Workplace Policies
The Fable “The Monkey and the Cat” is a fable (dating back to the 17th century or perhaps earlier) about a monkey who persuades a cat to pull chestnuts from the embers of a fire, only to take the reward for himself and leave the cat nursing a burnt paw.  The fable is the source… Continue Reading

Beyond Essential Functions: The Role of Job Reassignments in Accommodating Employee Disabilities

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Workplace Policies
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 obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you check to see if the lifting restriction will prevent… Continue Reading

How To Handle Insufficient Medical Documentation in Support of an Employee’s Disability Accommodation Request

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Workplace Policies
Workplace accommodation issues under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) can be tricky to navigate especially if the employee’s supporting medical documentation is insufficient. This often occurs in situations where the medical documentation only lists the medical condition but does not specify how it relates to a requested workplace accommodation or the health care professional… Continue Reading

Managing Employee Medical Leave: How Much Leave Is Reasonable?

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Employee Leave Management, Family Medical Leave Act, Workplace Policies
To date, there are few bright line rules to guide employers in determining how much leave is reasonable under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Further, employers sometimes mistakenly assume that if an employee has exhausted Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave, then the employee is not entitled to additional leave under the ADA. However,… Continue Reading

April Showers Bring May Flowers and Other Workplace Irritants: Must an Employer Provide a Fragrance-Free Workplace Under the ADA?

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Workplace Policies
An estimated 45 million Americans are affected by some form of chemical sensitivity that may be triggered by something as simple as flowers, perfume or hand soap. Because a chemical sensitivity may be considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an employer often has a duty to provide a reasonable accommodation when… Continue Reading

Telecommuting & the Modern Workplace Under the ADA: Sixth Circuit Redefines Workplace and Expands Reasonable Accommodation Obligation

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Workplace Policies
In the context of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the workplace and an employer’s brick-and-mortar location are no longer synonymous. Although courts vary with respect to telecommuting as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, courts are recognizing that technological advances have expanded the class of jobs for which working from home may be reasonable.… Continue Reading

What Are an Employer’s Obligations Under the ADA’s Interactive Process?

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Workplace Policies
In the reasonable accommodation context, the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) envisions an interactive process by which employers and employees work together to assess whether an employee’s disability can be reasonably accommodated.  The interactive process is an informal practice in which the covered individual and the employer determine the precise limitations created by the disability… Continue Reading