Law and the Workplace

Category Archives: Accessibility & Accommodation

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Massachusetts Senate Passes Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

The Massachusetts Senate has unanimously voted to pass “An Act Establishing the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act” (“MPWFA”) in an effort to make sure that pregnant and nursing employees receive the same protections under Mass. Gen. Laws Chapter 151B as do other protected classes of employees. The bill, which had previously unanimously passed in the … Continue Reading

Proskauer’s Value Insights Survey is Now Live

Proskauer’s second Value Insights: Delivering Value in Labor and Employment Law survey is now live and we want to hear from you. Value Insights explores how in-house counsel can maximize the value they provide to their business partners and correspondingly, how they can most effectively partner with outside counsel on managing labor and employment work. … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Holds the ADA Does Not Mandate Reassignment Without Competition or Preferential Treatment

In EEOC v. St. Joseph’s Hospital, the Eleventh Circuit recently held that the reasonable accommodation standard under the ADA “only requires an employer allow a disabled person to compete equally with the rest of the world for a vacant position” as a reasonable accommodation, and employers are not required to reassign a disabled employee into … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Publication on Rights of Applicants and Employees with Mental Health Conditions Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

EEOC sealThe EEOC has issued a new publication titled “Depression, PTSD & Other Mental Health Conditions in the Workplace: Your Legal Rights” aimed at informing applicants and employees with mental health conditions of their employment rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The publication presents a series of questions and answers regarding applicants’ and employees’ … Continue Reading

Participate in Proskauer’s Value Insights Survey

Last year, Proskauer’s Labor and Employment Law Department conducted its inaugural Value Insights: Delivering Value in Labor and Employment Law survey, a resource that includes input from in-house decision makers on labor and employment matters and provides in-house counsel with tools to both more effectively help their business partners achieve their objectives and to work with … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Fiscal Year 2016 Performance Report

EEOC sealOn November 15, 2016, the EEOC published its Fiscal Year 2016 Performance and Accountability Report. The Performance Report details the EEOC’s efforts over the past fiscal year, which ran from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016, toward achieving “equality and justice for all” as described by Chair Jenny Yang.  In 2012, the agency adopted … Continue Reading

Proskauer Releases Survey Results on Value Insights: Delivering Value in Labor and Employment Law

Proskauer’s Labor and Employment Law Department is pleased to announce the release of its inaugural Value Insights: Delivering Value in Labor and Employment Law survey, a resource that includes input from in-house decision makers on labor and employment matters and provides in-house counsel with tools to both more effectively help their business partners achieve their objectives … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Final Rules On Employer-Sponsored Wellness Program Compliance Under the ADA and GINA

EEOC sealThe Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has issued two final rules addressing employer-sponsored wellness programs’ compliance with Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”). Both rules will become effective for health insurance plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2017 and will … Continue Reading

EEOC Releases New Guidance on Unpaid Leave as a Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA

Leave of absence formThe Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has released new guidance on unpaid leave as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The guidance, issued on May 9, 2016, makes clear that employers must not only provide employees with disabilities access to leave as an accommodation on the same basis as similarly situated … Continue Reading

Utah Law Requiring Employers to Provide Reasonable Accommodations Related to Pregnancy and Breastfeeding to Take Effect May 10, 2016

Utah recently passed a new law, which will be effective May 10, 2016, designed to provide additional workplace protections to employees who are pregnant, breastfeeding and/or dealing with other related conditions. Under the new law, which amends the Utah state anti-discrimination statute, employers with 15 or more employees cannot refuse to provide a requested accommodation … Continue Reading

California Court Rules That Retailer Must Make Its Website Accessible For Users With Visual Disabilities Under the ADA

Man using smartphoneIn a significant decision for all businesses that maintain an online presence, a California court recently ruled that a luggage retailer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and California state law by failing to make its website accessible to a blind customer. This summary judgment decision is noteworthy because in addition to holding that … Continue Reading

Eighth Circuit Holds That Obesity That Is Not Caused By an Underlying Physiological Condition Is Not a Covered “Impairment” Under the ADA

In Morriss v. BNSF Railway Company, the Eighth Circuit recently held that obesity that is not caused by an underlying physiological condition is not a covered “impairment” for purposes of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), even following the 2008 amendments to the ADA that broadened the definition of what is considered a protected disability. … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Weighs In On Breadth Of The Rehabilitation Act

Recently, a split has continued among the Circuit Courts as to whether Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act permits employment discrimination suits by independent contractors. On February 1, 2016, the Fifth Circuit joined the Ninth Circuit and held that it does.  The decision is a good reminder that the Rehabilitation Act has a broader reach … Continue Reading

DOJ Announces Postponement of the Release of Proposed Web Accessibility Regulations for Public Accommodations Until 2018

Man using smartphoneBusinesses awaiting guidance from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on accessibility of online content for places of public accommodation under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) were once again disappointed when the DOJ recently announced that it is pushing back the release of its proposed regulations until fiscal year 2018. As … Continue Reading

U.S. Access Board Releases the Latest in a Series of Guidance on Accessible Design Requirements Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

Retail stores, restaurants, event venues, and other places of public accommodation seeking guidance on accessible design requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) should be aware of the latest installment of technical bulletins recently released by the U.S. Access Board, the federal agency tasked with developing accessible design criteria for individuals with disabilities. The … Continue Reading

The Americans with Disabilities Act at 25 Years: A Look Back and What’s Ahead

This Sunday marked the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), which was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990. The enactment of the ADA represented a bipartisan commitment to fight discrimination against individuals with disabilities in many aspects of everyday life, including in the workplace and in … Continue Reading

DOJ Releases Supplemental Guidance on Service Animals Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

With the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) just two weeks away, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has released a new technical assistance document addressing frequently asked questions regarding service animals and the ADA.   This additional guidance is intended to be read in conjunction with the DOJ’s previous July 2011 technical … Continue Reading

EEOC Updates Pregnancy Discrimination Guidance

Last week, the EEOC announced an update to its Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues (“Enforcement Guidance”) to reflect the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Young v. UPS. As we blogged about in March, the Court in Young articulated a new standard applicable to claims brought under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”), when … Continue Reading

Proposed Web Accessibility Regulations for Public Accommodations Delayed Yet Again

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has once again pushed back the anticipated issue date for proposed regulations governing accessibility of online content for places of public accommodation governed by Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. According to the recently released Spring 2015 Unified Agenda, the proposed regulations, which had last been slated … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Failure to Accommodate Religion May Be Evidence of Intentional Discrimination

Today the U.S. Supreme Court held in favor of the EEOC in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Store Stores, Inc. The EEOC claimed that Abercrombie violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) by refusing to hire a Muslim applicant who wears a headscarf for religious reasons.  The decision, penned by … Continue Reading

EEOC Releases Proposed Rule on Employee Wellness Plans

Yesterday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a long awaited proposed rule on employee wellness programs. The rule is designed to help companies structure such programs to meet their obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA prohibits medical exams that are not job related and consistent with business necessity but permits … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Announces New Standard for Pregnancy Discrimination Claims

On Wednesday the U.S. Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS), which involves a claim of pregnancy discrimination under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). Young, a UPS driver, claimed that UPS intentionally discriminated against her by refusing to accommodate her pregnancy-related lifting restriction by transferring her to a … Continue Reading

EEOC Takes First Step Toward Issuing Rules on Employer-Sponsored Wellness Plans

On March 20, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) announced its submission of a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM”) on employer-sponsored wellness plans to the White House Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for review. This is the first step toward official EEOC regulations on the subject of wellness plans. Assuming the OMB provides … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Governor Signs Parental Leave Bill

On January 7, 2015, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law a Parental Leave bill, which significantly amends Mass. Gen. L. ch. 149, section 105D.  Before the amendment, the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (“MMLA”) provided eight weeks of job-protected leave to female employees for the birth or adoption of a child. Now, however, among other expansive … Continue Reading
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