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Disability & Leave

Temporary GI Issues Not a Disability Under California Law

Is an employee’s temporary gastrointestinal distress as a result of his failure to take prescribed medication properly a covered disability?  Not under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), according to a recent decision out of California State court.  Smith v. Space Exploration Technologies Corp., No. B289189 (Cal. App. 2d 11/1/19). Smith worked for Space […]

Federal Appeals Court: Cancer and FMLA Leave No Excuse for Being a Bad Supervisor

The Sixth Circuit, headquartered in Cincinnati, has affirmed a decision that the termination of an employee with cancer following his return from FMLA leave was not a pretext for discrimination.  Williams v. Graphic Packaging International, Inc.  The employee in question, an upper level supervisor, was apparently mismanaging and intimidating his employees, which only came to […]

Eighth Circuit Says Employee Not Required to Use “Magic Words” When Requesting Accomodation

Employers may wish to avoid learning the details about their employees’ medical conditions.  But trying to avoid such knowledge does not necessarily absolve employers of applicable reasonable accommodation obligations under the ADA.  A recent case out of the Eighth Circuit demonstrates the importance of engaging in the interactive process when an employee asks for an […]

SCOTUS Denies Review of Domino’s Website Accessibility

Last week, the Supreme Court denied Domino’s Pizza’s request to review a Ninth Circuit decision, Robles v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, No. 17-55504 (1/15/19), that holds the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) requires stores and other businesses to make online services accessible to disabled persons.  The decision (or lack of) returns the case to a California […]

Second Circuit Offers Guidance on Associational Discrimination

How should an employer react when its employee reports needing time off to care for a sick or disabled relative or friend?  The Second Circuit recently weighed in on an ADA associational discrimination claim arising in part from an employer’s denial of a former employee’s schedule modification request to care for his disabled daughter.   Kelleher […]

Fitness for Duty Exams Scrutinized by Federal Court in Illinois

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, an employer may require medical examinations or make inquiries of employees about disabilities as long as the such examinations or inquiries are job related and consistent with business necessity.  The employer bears the burden of proof of business necessity and job relatedness.  Frequently, issues arise when employees develop medical […]

Employee Believed To Have Tampered With Drug Test Cannot Prove Disability Discrimination

A federal district judge in Oregon ruled that a Boeing employee who was terminated from his employment for tampering with his drug test could not advance his claims for disability discrimination and retaliation past summary judgment.  The case, Kelly v. The Boeing Company (D. Or. Aug. 15, 2019), reaffirms the general principle that an employer […]

D.C. Court of Appeals Finds That Perceived-Disability Discrimination Claim May Succeed

Anti-discrimination laws often protect both individuals with actual disabilities and those whose employer perceives (regards) as disabled.  Whether an employer perceives an employee as disabled, however, can be a complicated matter, as a case decided last week by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals illustrates.  Abdul-Azim v. Howard University Hospital, No. 17-CV-453 (D.C. Ct. […]