Law and the Workplace

Tag Archives: disability

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

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

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

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

EEOC Takes Aim at Employers with “Voluntary” Wellness Programs Tied to Health Benefit Costs

On Tuesday, the EEOC commenced its second lawsuit in as many months targeting certain employer wellness programs for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  In both of the pending cases, employers are alleged to have maintained wellness programs that required employees to submit to medical examinations (including blood work) and to disclose medical history … Continue Reading

Update: It’s Time For A Close Up: DOJ Announces Proposed Rule That Would Require Movie Theaters to Provide Closed Captioning and Audio Description

The Attorney General recently announced that the deadline for providing public comment on the aforementioned NPRM regarding captioning and audio description in movie theaters has been extended for an additional sixty days from September 30, 2014 to December 1, 2014.  The extension was granted based upon a public request citing the number and complexity of … Continue Reading

Update: It’s Time For A Close Up: DOJ Announces Proposed Rule That Would Require Movie Theaters to Provide Closed Captioning and Audio Description

Starting today, August 1, 2014, and until September 30, 2014, DOJ is seeking public comment on a number of issues related to the aforementioned NPRM regarding captioning and audio description in movies theaters.  This includes the issue mentioned above regarding whether closed captioning and audio description requirements should also apply to theaters showing movies in … Continue Reading

It’s Time For A Close Up: DOJ Announces Proposed Rule That Would Require Movie Theaters to Provide Closed Captioning and Audio Description

On July 25, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced the impending publication of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) covering closed captioning and audio description requirements for movie theaters.  This NPRM seeks to create a consistent nationwide standard for theaters to exhibit movies that are available with closed captioning and audio description at … Continue Reading

New York State Legislature Approves Use of Medical Marijuana; Users to Be Considered “Disabled” Under State Human Rights Law

On June 20, 2014, the New York state legislature approved a bill that would allow patients to use marijuana for limited medical therapeutic purposes. Governor Cuomo is expected to sign the bill into law. The bill will not take effect until 18 months after it is signed into law, giving employers time to consider the … Continue Reading

eBay and National Federation of the Blind Pair Up for Web Accessibility Initiative

Online marketplace eBay and the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) recently announced a partnership aimed to enhance the accessibility of eBay’s website and mobile applications.  This “Web 2.0 Sustainable Accessibility Partnership Agreement” aims to provide individuals with visual impairments increased access to the goods and services available on eBay by optimizing the use of … Continue Reading

California District Court Holds Redbox Not Required to Offer Captioning On Its Website, Affirming Ninth Circuit Position that Entities that Purely Exist in Cyber-Space Are Not Places of Public Accommodation Under the ADA

Yet another district court in the Ninth Circuit has affirmed the position that websites with no nexus to traditional brick and mortar places of public accommodation are not in and of themselves places of public accommodation under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), while also underscoring that Title III does not require … Continue Reading

The Wait Continues for the Release of the DOJ Website Accessibility Regulations

For those eagerly anticipating word from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on the proposed regulations governing website accessibility requirements and technical standards for the websites of both places of public accommodation and state and local governments, the wait continues.  According to a recently released Unified Agenda, the proposed public accommodation website regulations, which were … Continue Reading

EEOC Publishes Advisory Letter On Use of Forms In the ADA Interactive Process

Employers seeking to adopt standardized forms relating to the ADA’s interactive process need to familiarize themselves with a recently published EEOC advisory letter commenting on a sample policy, request for accommodation questionnaire, and health care provider questionnaire. While the advisory letter does not provide the exact policy and forms in question, the materials did provide … Continue Reading

Recent SDNY Rulings Provide Insight into the Value of Voluntary Title III Settlement Agreements with Governmental Agencies Against Future Claims

When considering whether to enter into a voluntary settlement agreement with a governmental agency regarding the accessibility a place of public accommodation, clients often ask how much protection is gained against potential future claims brought against the same location by other parties.  A recent series of rulings in a litigation brought under Title III of … Continue Reading

Philadelphia Issues New Pregnancy & Employment Rights Notice

Philadelphia recently amended its fair employment practices ordinance to expand protection for employees against discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition. Among other things, employers must provide a written notice of rights to all existing employees by April 20, 2014, and to all new hires thereafter. For more on the new ordinance, … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Justice Increases Civil Penalties For Violations of Title III of the ADA

On March 28, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued a Final Rule increasing the amount of civil penalties available for violations of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  The maximum civil penalty for a first violation of Title III increased from $55,000 to $75,000, with a new maximum for subsequent … Continue Reading

New Jersey Employers Must Display Two Updated Posters

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (“Department”) recently updated two of the posters that employers must conspicuously display in the workplace. The first updated poster—the New Jersey State Wage and Hour Law Abstract—reflects the increase in the state minimum wage to $8.25 per hour. The second updated poster concerning Unemployment and Disability … Continue Reading

NY Court of Appeals Ruling Stresses the Need for Employers to Engage In and Document the Interactive Process

The New York Court of Appeals’ recent decision in Jacobsen v. N.Y.C. Health & Hosps. Corp., No. 34, 2014 N.Y. LEXIS 570 (Mar. 27, 2014), stresses the need for employers responding to requests for accommodation by employees with disabilities to engage in a thoughtful, individualized, interactive process that it also well documented.  Failure by the … Continue Reading

DOJ and National Federation of the Blind Enter Into Consent Decree with H&R Block to Require Website and Mobile Application Accessibility for Individuals with Disabilities

On March 6, 2014, the National Federation of the Blind and the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”), as a plaintiff-intervenor, entered into a consent decree with HRB Digital LLC and HRB Tax Group, Inc. (collectively, “H&R Block” or “Defendants”) to remedy alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), as asserted … Continue Reading

Broad Definition of “Disability” Endorsed By Fourth Circuit

In its recently published opinion in Summers v. Altarum Institute, Corp., No. 13-1645, decided January 23, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit became the first federal appellate court to hold that a sufficiently severe temporary impairment may constitute a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 by applying the … Continue Reading
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