Law and the Workplace

Tag Archives: ADA

Amendment to New York City Human Rights Law Mandates Employers to Engage in “Cooperative Dialogue” with Employees Seeking an Accommodation

The New York City Council voted last month to amend the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) to mandate that covered entities engage in “cooperative dialogue” with those persons who may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation. On January 19, 2018, because the Mayor failed to take action within thirty days of its passage, the … Continue Reading

7th Circuit Holds Long-Term Leave Is Not a Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA

Leave of absence formIn a recent decision in Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc. (Sept. 20, 2017), the Seventh Circuit affirmed a district court’s ruling that an employer did not violate the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to provide an employee with a long-term medical leave of absence.  Indeed, the court found that “a long-term leave of absence … 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

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

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

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

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

EEOC Wellness Program Suits Highlight Need for Agency Guidance

The EEOC has been pursuing litigation against wellness programs of late, arguing that certain health plan penalties render participation in wellness program health screens “involuntary” and thus violate Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits medical exams unless they are  voluntary or  are job-related and consistent with business necessity.  (See recent blog post about this.)  Senate Republicans rightly criticized the EEOC general counsel … Continue Reading

New Ebola Orders from NY and NJ Governors Provide Additional Relief for Employers

Employers in New York and New Jersey who were wondering whether to require employees returning from the three West African nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea who had direct contact with a person with Ebola to stay home from work during the 21-day Ebola incubation period now do not have to make that decision. … Continue Reading

New CDC Ebola Monitoring Protocol is Good News for Employers

The CDC has just announced new active post-arrival monitoring for all travelers entering the U.S. from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea.  This will entail: Screening by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Customs and Border Protection at the airport Providing travelers with a “CARE” kit that includes a thermometer and other guidance on how to … Continue Reading

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 41 CFR part 60-741, the nondiscrimination and affirmative action provisions of section 503  of the Rehabilitation Act and expanded the obligations … Continue Reading

New News on Ebola May Require Changes in Employer Procedures

New news reports on Ebola, both about the epidemic in West Africa and new details about the health care workers in Dallas who have been infected, have heightened employer concerns.  Today Andrew Morse of the Wall Street Journal reported that the World Health Organization (WHO) is predicting that as many as 10,000 new cases a week … Continue Reading

Protecting Healthcare and Other Employees From Ebola

News that a  U.S. based health-care worker in Dallas has contracted Ebola while caring for a patient with the disease has raised questions about the protections that health care facilities and other employers must provide for workers who might be exposed to Ebola.  I asked my health care law colleagues Herschel Goldfield, Senior Counsel in Proskauer’s … Continue Reading

Ebola Worries and the Workplace – What Can Employers Do?

With the current Ebola outbreak leading the news, employers may be considering what steps can and should be taken in the event that an employee has recently traveled to an area that is experiencing a significant rate of infection.  First, employers should know that the World Health Organization has stated the “risk of a tourist … Continue Reading
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