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Associational Discrimination Under the ADA

The association provision of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employment discrimination against an employee or applicant because of a known relationship or association with a person with a known disability. This means that an employer is prohibited from…

Large Jury Award in Disability-Bias Case – What the Employer Did Wrong

Richard W. Bunch, PhD, PT, CBES It always amazes me when reviewing legal cases about allegations of employee discrimination how employers too often create their own problems that are quite costly. In the California case, Abarca v. Citizens of Humanity,…

Accommodating an Anxious Workforce

The American workforce is becoming increasingly subject to anxiety and depression disorders. Employers must find ways to retain and motivate employees with such diagnoses in order to maintain a competitive advantage and to avoid legal liability. Nobody knows precisely how…

GINA, ADA Boundaries in Fitness-For-Duty Exams

An informal discussion letter released by the EEOC sketches out the lawful boundaries under GINA and the ADA with regard to medical history inquires and annual fitness-for-duty examinations. Although the letter responds to an inquiry about medical history information sought…

Using Fitness for Duty Testing as Part of an Interactive Accommodation Review

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the purpose of the interactive accommodation review (IAR) process is to “identify the precise limitations resulting from the disability and potential reasonable accommodations that could overcome those limitations.” In return to work cases…

Reassignment: The Often-Overlooked Accommodation of Last Resort

What happens when, at the end of a good faith interactive dialogue and despite the parties’ best efforts, there is apparently no reasonable accommodation that will enable the employee to perform the essential functions of their job? Can the employer…

Legal Termination of an Employee Worker Impaired by Prescription Drugs

A former employee with WellStar Health System failed to demonstrate to a federal appeals court that she was terminated from her job based on a disability instead of her admission that she reported to work impaired by prescription drugs. The…

The Legal Importance of ADA’s Interactive Accommodation Review Process

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals clarifies that employers have discretion to provide a reasonable accommodation as identified through the interactive accommodation review (IAR) process. Once an employee abandons the IAR process, the employer has no duty to accommodate. Under the…

Opioid Use Disorder (OSU) has been determined to be an ADA Covered Disability

The U.S. Department of Justice reached a January 31, 2019 settlement of an American with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) Title III complaint against health care provider Selma Medical Associates relating to provision of medical services to an individual with opioid use…

Excessive Absences Disqualifies Employee from Protection under the ADA

As published by Lexology, an employee who missed nine months of work for reasons unrelated to her disability, and then another day without medical verification, was found by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to be unqualified…

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