Employee Who Requests Transfer To Less Stressful Location Gets Trial

Clifford Geiger
Clifford Geiger
06/17/2022
Employees sometimes assert that they suffer from stress or anxiety because they cannot work with a particular supervisor or coworker or at a particular busy or stressful location.  These claims are usually unsuccessful, but they may fare better when a large employer has the option or flexibility to transfer an unhappy employee. In one recent case, a court ruled that an employee who was denied a transfer from a particular location that caused him...
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Denied Parking Accommodation Equals Disability Trial

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
06/08/2022
Employers sometimes need to be reminded that a reasonable accommodation can be an easy thing.  Refusing to make one without first engaging in the “interactive process” can result in prolonged litigation. After all, everyone is entitled to their decade in court. Today’s story involves a former VA employee who the Eleventh Circuit decided will be able to have a jury decide if she was illegally denied permission to park in the VA lot for...
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EEOC Issues New Guidance On ADA-Compliant Use of AI For Employment Decision-Making

Bernadette Hunton
Bernadette Hunton
05/13/2022
For the first time, the EEOC has issued guidance on how to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when using artificial intelligence (AI) for employment decision-making. Overall, the Q&A document reiterates familiar principles of ADA law: (1) provide reasonable accommodations for an applicant/employee with a disability; (2) don’t use testing tools that intentionally or unintentionally screen out disabled individuals; and (3)...
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Magic Words Are Not Needed for An ADA Request for Reasonable Accommodation, But Sufficient Words Are

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
03/04/2022
While courts have said repeatedly about the ADA that an employee need not use magic words or even the phrase “reasonable accommodation” when making such a request, the case of Powley v. Rail Crew Xpress, LLC, No. 21-1131 (8th Cir. Feb. 15, 2022), is a good reminder that the ADA does require employees to provide sufficient information to an employer that a health issue could be a disability interfering with the ability to work and necessitating a...
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COVID-19 May Be A Disability Under the ADA

Clifford Geiger
Clifford Geiger
02/24/2022
A U.S. District Court in Alabama recently addressed whether COVID-19 can be a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Brown v. Roanoke Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center, No. 3:2021cv00590 – Document 22 (M.D. Ala. 2022). In the summer of 2020, Lucious Brown was terminated from her position as a certified nursing assistant for failing to report to work on the 13th day of a 14-day COVID-19 isolation period.  At the time of...
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Fourth Circuit ADA Plaintiff Loses on Summary Judgment Due To Admissions Made In His Own Complaint

Bernadette Hunton
Bernadette Hunton
01/21/2022
One of the more challenging areas of employment law that businesses must grapple with is leave accommodations.  Employers and employees often disagree about how much leave is too much leave and, when circumstances result in an employee’s termination, it’s not uncommon for litigation to ensue. Such were the facts of an employment dispute decided by the Fourth Circuit this week. Jessup v. Barnes Group, Inc., No. 20-1801 (1/19/22). Plaintiff...
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Alleged Harassment Lets FMLA Claim Proceed

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
10/18/2021
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides that use of FMLA leave cannot be used as a “negative factor” in employment actions designed to discourage an employee from taking leave.  See 29 C.F.R. § 825.220 (b) and (c). There are two types of FMLA claims: “interference” and “discrimination/retaliation” claims.  Courts have rejected the notion that the FMLA – unlike Title VII or the ADEA – provides for a “hostile work...
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Fourth Circuit Offers Guidance on Employer's Obligation to Make Reasonable Accommodations

 A recent decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is a good reminder that the ADA does not require that an employee be granted the exact accommodation they are seeking. Rather, an employer fulfills its obligation when it offers to provide a reasonable alternative accommodation.  Murphy v. County of New Hanover, No. 21-1471 (September 17, 2021). Dante Murphy was employed by the county of New Hanover, North...
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Reasonable Accommodation and the ADA’s Interactive Process

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
06/30/2021
A major component of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the interactive process.  The law requires employers and employees to actively engage in this dialogue when exploring reasonable accommodations.  But there is no requirement that an employer agree to an employee’s preferred accommodation if there is another accommodation that is less expensive or easier to provide that will have the same effect.   As long as an...
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A Reminder of the Importance of the ADA’s Interactive Process

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
06/17/2021
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is clear:  it is crucial for employers to timely and thoroughly explore avenues of reasonable accommodation (that do not create an undue hardship) for employees with disabilities.  This is not a one and done thing; an employer needs to be fully engaged in the interactive process and keep a good record of what it has done to meet its obligations.  The failure to do so may result in an employee getting...
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