Category: Disability Discrimination

Quirky Question #244, Ebola goes viral

Quirky Question #244, Ebola goes viral

Question: The recent media coverage of Ebola has been overwhelming.  As an employer, I want to be prepared and proactive to protect our employees and our business, but I also don’t want to overreact to what is seemingly a very small threat.  What steps can, and should, I take to protect my employees?  Does Ebola potentially implicate any state or...

Quirky Question #232, We Can Require Our Employee To Work At The Office, Right?

Quirky Question #232, We Can Require Our Employee To Work At The Office, Right?

Question: We are a medium-sized Minnesota employer.  Our lead accountant recently spoke with our Director of Human Resources and requested to work from home several days a week due to a medical condition.  We believe his condition is serious, but think we can figure out a way for him to continue in his current role.  That said, we think the...

Quirky Question #230, Accommodating Nursing Mothers

Quirky Question #230, Accommodating Nursing Mothers

Question: We are a large Minnesota employer and we have a non-exempt employee who is asking for breaks to express her breast milk multiple times every day, and each break takes a long time. We let her do so in her office, and she tapes a “not available” note across the window on her office door, but the door doesn’t...

Quirky Question #209, Obesity as a Disability under MT Law

Quirky Question #209, Obesity as a Disability under MT Law

Question: We are in Montana and a very obese woman recently applied for a manager position.  The position is more physical than most in that there is significant walking between facilities, and the candidate must climb ladders to view the product line in the manufacturing facility.   We declined to hire this candidate because we did not think she could safely...

Quirky Question #205, Pregnancy CA, Washington and Utah

Quirky Question #205, Pregnancy CA, Washington and Utah

Question: We have employees in California, Washington and Utah where I understand there may be separate statutes protecting pregnancy disability leave and requiring up to sixteen (16) weeks of protected leave (as opposed to twelve (12) under FMLA).  We terminated an employee in California for not returning after her sixteen (16) week leave and she is threatening to sue.  Aren’t...

Quirky Question # 193: Pregnancy Complications and the FMLA, PDA and ADA

Quirky Question # 193: Pregnancy Complications and the FMLA, PDA and ADA

Question: An employee experienced complications with her pregnancy toward the end of her second trimester.  As a result of these complications, her physician placed her on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy.  If she carries the baby to term, this employee will exhaust her Family and Medical Leave Act leave by the time of the birth.  Are we...

Quirky Question # 190, Are Perfect Attendance Policies Compliant with the FMLA and ADA?

Quirky Question # 190, Are Perfect Attendance Policies Compliant with the FMLA and ADA?

Question: My company is a firm believer in rewarding good behavior as opposed to punishing bad behavior. Along those lines, we give bonuses to employees who maintain perfect attendance over the course of a year. For employees who do have absences, we apply a “no-fault” system that grants employees a set number of days that can be missed each year...

Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC: High Court Holds that the First Amendment Grants a Religious Institution the Freedom to “Choose Those Who Will Guide It on Its Way”

Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC: High Court Holds that the First Amendment Grants a Religious Institution the Freedom to “Choose Those Who Will Guide It on Its Way”

It is difficult to predict the long-term ramifications of the Supreme Court’s decision, particularly since, as addressed below, the Supreme Court qualified its opinion somewhat and declined to make broad pronouncements.  Notwithstanding these facts, and despite the somewhat limited application of the opinion, we thought you might be interested in reading about the Supreme Court’s analysis of the way in which the nation’s...

Quirky Question # 187, Who Is Responsible for Determining Whether Jobs Are Available for an Employee on Disability Leave — the Employer or Employee?

Quirky Question # 187, Who Is Responsible for Determining Whether Jobs Are Available for an Employee on Disability Leave — the Employer or Employee?

Question: One of our employees has been out of work on a disability. We’ve accommodated her by letting her take a prolonged leave of absence. During this time, she also has been availing herself of both our Short-Term Disability (STD) and Long-Term Disability (LTD) policies. She’s been out of work for a full year. We’ve periodically conducted internal reviews to...

Quirky Question # 185; Accommodating a Disabled Employee Who Only Can Work a Partial Shift

Quirky Question # 185; Accommodating a Disabled Employee Who Only Can Work a Partial Shift

Question: We run a manufacturing company.  We are fortunate in that, despite the difficult economy, our products remain in high demand.  One of our employees has a couple of related disabilities, the consequence of which is that he only can work a maximum of 8 hours each day.  In the past, we have been able to accommodate this limitation.  But,...