Know The Essential Functions of the Jobs In Your Workplace

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
02/01/2019
The essential functions of a job are those duties that an employee must be able to perform, with or without reasonable accommodation.   The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) advises that employers should consider the following factors to determine whether a function is essential: whether the position exists to perform the function; the number of other employees available to perform the function or among whom the performance of the...
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Kentucky Court Holds That State Law Does Not Permit Associational Discrimination Claims

Nearly two weeks ago, in a post on associational discrimination claims, I pointed out that while these claims may be relatively uncommon, they are still possible under the ADA and Maryland law. By contrast, last week, a Kentucky state court held that the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KCRA) does not encompass associational discrimination claims.  The case is Barnett v. Central Kentucky Hauling, LLC, No. 2017-CA-001746-MR (Ky. Ct. App. Dec. 21,...
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Associational Discrimination Claims: Are They Viable?

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
12/14/2018
Unlike cases of discrimination based on an employee’s own protected status, there seem to be far fewer claims of discrimination based on an employee’s relationship with a protected individual.  But this did not stop a former county courthouse employee from filing a lawsuit last December claiming that her termination from the Marion Superior Court in Indianapolis violated the association provision of the ADA.  Amber Bridges v. City of...
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Jury Decides That Mercedes Benz Did Not Deliver The Best To A Former Employee With Cancer

A Mercedes Benz dealership in Seattle violated the Americans With Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) and Washington state disability law when it denied its finance director the chance to return to work after his surgery for vocal chord cancer.  The federal jury awarded the employee nearly $5 million. Troy Coachman worked for Seattle Auto Management, Inc. as a finance director.  His lawsuit alleges he was a top producer, generating...
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Understanding Telework as a Reasonable Accommodation

Clifford Geiger
Clifford Geiger
09/23/2018
Handling employee requests to telework can be tricky, especially when the request is accompanied by a doctor’s note recommending the employee work at home all or most of the time. But just providing a doctor’s note does not entitle an employee to work at home.  An employer needs enough information to understand whether teleworking is a reasonable accommodation, and this means both the employer and employee must engage in the interactive...
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Yet Another Example of Oversharing Gone Wrong

Brief Quiz here:   What personal medical information you learn from a subordinate employee should you share with others on social media?  If your answer is “none, under any circumstances,” congratulations – you need read no further.  If your answer is “well, maybe it depends, because people might need to know…” then I have a story for you. A recent lawsuit filed in New Jersey state court is a good reminder of why being an over-sharer...
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A Good Walk Spoiled: Golf Outing Sinks FMLA Claim

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
05/07/2018
Honest belief” cases can be difficult for an employer to win on summary judgment.  The concept is that, even if the employer was wrong, it honestly believed that an employee should have been fired, so there was no intent to discriminate.  FMLA honest belief cases are among the most interesting. On one hand, there are lots of things an employee on FMLA leave may still be able to do while complying with the requirements of his or her leave.  You...
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No ADA Claim For Chipotle Employee Terminated Over Prescription Drug Reaction

Bernadette Hunton
Bernadette Hunton
04/11/2018
The Eleventh Circuit held this past week that an employee couldn’t show disability discrimination when Chipotle fired her for violating its zero-tolerance inebriation policy, despite evidence that the employee’s conduct was a result of prescription medication taken for a disability.  Caporicci v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., No. 16-13494 (11th Cir. 4/5/18). In this case, Plaintiff Caporicci was hired by Chipotle in July 2012.  After a year of...
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U.S. House Votes To Amend ADA's Public Accommodations Requirements

This past Thursday, the House of Representatives passed (by a vote of 225 to 192) the “ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017.”  The bill is designed predominantly to alter the procedures that must be followed concerning alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by public accommodations such as restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, and shopping malls. Since 1990, the ADA has barred public accommodations from depriving any...
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Obesity and the ADA

Clifford Geiger
Clifford Geiger
01/02/2018
Ketryn Cornell is an obese woman who was fired from the Berkley Tennis Club (the “Club”) after working there for fifteen years.  In May 2012, when Rigoberto Headley became the Club’s general manager, Cornell was five feet, five inches tall and weighed over 350 pounds.  Headley told Cornell that he wanted to change the Club’s image, and that staff members would be required to wear uniforms.  Cornell mentioned to Headley that finding a...
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