Category Archives: Reasonable Accommodation

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Now in Effect: California Employers Must Provide New Hires with Written Notice of Victim Rights

As reported in our new laws for 2017 post, employers must give written notice to new employees (and to current employees upon request) explaining the rights of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. All California employers with at least 25 employees must be in compliance, effective July 1, 2017.… Continue Reading

Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express: The Reasonable Accommodation of an Employee’s Family

In Luis Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express, the California Court of Appeal held that California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) – which requires employers to reasonably accommodate employees with disabilities – now requires employers to reasonably accommodate employees who are associated with a disabled person.  This is an unprecedented decision and will likely to … Continue Reading

New Year, New Rules For Employers Doing Business in California

This year the California Legislature added over a dozen new employment laws, many of which take effect on January 1, 2016.  Some of these laws impose new prohibitions on employers, while others provide positive benefits such as safe harbors, cure provisions, and employer incentives for reclassification of certain independent contractors.  This update highlights key provisions … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Holds: You Can’t Always Get What You Want – As Long As Your Employer Gives You What You Need (An Effective Accommodation)

On May 21, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in Noll v. International Business Machines Corporation, Case No. 13-4096 (May 21, 2015), affirmed a decision by the Southern District of New York which granted the defendant-employer summary judgment on the plaintiff-employee’s claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and … Continue Reading

An Ounce Of Prevention…Does Your Voluntary Wellness Program Comply With Proposed EEOC Regulations?

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently issued proposed regulations addressing how the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) applies to corporate wellness programs.  These proposed regulations are intended to provide employers with guidance on how to encourage workers to participate in wellness programs without violating federal law.  Employers with wellness programs, or those who … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Holds That Ford Motor Co. Was Not Required to Accommodate Telecommuting

On April 10, 2015, in an eagerly awaited decision interpreting the reasonable accommodation provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled, en banc, in favor of Ford Motor Co., rejecting the EEOC’s claim that Ford violated the ADA by not allowing a disabled employee … Continue Reading

New Illinois Laws in 2015: What Employers Should Know

Ban the Box Joining the current “Ban the Box” trend, effective January 1, 2015, the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act prohibits Illinois employers from asking job applicants about their criminal record or criminal history until after the employer determines that the individual is qualified for the position and notifies the individual that s/he has … Continue Reading

Get Ready! DC’s Protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Currently Expected To Take Effect On March 3, 2015

The District of Columbia recently joined twelve other states[1] that have enacted laws requiring employers to accommodate certain limitations associated with pregnancy.  The Protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (the “Act” or “PPWFA”) of 2014 was passed on October 23, 2014 and is under Congressional review.  It is currently expected to become effective on March 3, … Continue Reading

New York Court of Appeals Places Burden on Employer to Plead that Employee Seeking Indefinite Leave Cannot Satisfy the Essential Requisites of the Job

The New York Court of Appeals recently overturned the dismissal of an employee’s discrimination claim under the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”), while at the same time upholding the dismissal of the employee’s disability claims under the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”).  In doing so, the Court of Appeals emphasized the … Continue Reading

The Increasing Cost of Doing Business in San Francisco: Board of Supervisors Approves Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance

On October 1, 2013, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance that will give employees the right to request flexible work arrangements to assist with caregiver responsibilities.  San Francisco employers will be required to consider and respond to all such requests in a formal manner.… Continue Reading

New York City Now Requires Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnant Workers

Today, Mayor Bloomberg signed into law an amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law requiring employers with four or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers.  The legislation, which was earlier passed unanimously by the New York City Council, becomes effective in January 30, 2014.… Continue Reading

OFCCP May Impose Explicit Goals for Federal Contractors’ Hiring of Individuals with Disabilities

By Evgenia Fkiaras Following a trend by the Federal government to liberalize anti-discrimination laws in favor of employees, the Department of Labor Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) has proposed regulations that would require employers who wish to keep their contracts (and subcontracts) with the Federal government to attempt to maintain a workforce where … Continue Reading

Lawsuit by Deaf Employee Based on Failure to Provide Sign Language Interpreter Sent to Jury

In a recent decision involving a deaf employee’s professed need for a sign language interpreter to understand and participate in mandatory departmental meetings, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously reaffirmed that pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), an appropriate “reasonable accommodation” must be effective to enable a covered employee to enjoy equal … Continue Reading

Inflexible Medical Leave Policies May Violate the Americans with Disabilities Act

On August 27, 2009, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a putative class action against United Parcel Service, Inc. claiming the company’s 12-month leave of absence policy violates the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”).… Continue Reading

Dress and Grooming Policies in the Workplace

In an effort to satisfy customers and maintain a desired company image, many employers have dress and grooming policies. As a general rule, employers are legally allowed to establish reasonable dress and grooming requirements that serve legitimate business interests. However, two recent cases remind employers that there are limits on what grooming standards employers can … Continue Reading

Court of Appeal: Employee Can Sue For Disability Bias Despite Absence Of Medical Evidence And Absence Of Any Explicit Request For An Accommodation

A California Court of Appeal has ruled that an employee who used a company-provided scooter to move around a factory can sue for disability bias after the scooter broke and was not replaced by the employer.  This despite the fact that there was no medical evidence of disability, the employee worked for six months without … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Holding Reminds Employers To Think Carefully Before Denying Requested Accommodations

The Ninth Circuit’s holding in Gribben v. United Parcel Service illustrates the principle that employing an overly technical analysis to determine an employer’s obligations to its employees under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") is risky.  The ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities, which it defines as “physical or … Continue Reading

Disability Is In The Eye of the Beholder: Court Of Appeal Mandates Employer Accommodation Of Employees “Regarded As” Disabled

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA") requires employers to engage in an interactive process to determine whether reasonable accommodation can be made to allow employees with known disabilities to perform the essential functions of their jobs. In Charles Gelfo v. Lockheed Martin Corporation, the California Court of Appeal held that an employer must engage … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Faults Employer For Failing To Accommodate Religious Beliefs And Observances

A California Court of Appeal has opined that an employer’s duty to accommodate religious observances extends to an employee’s request to attend a three day religious convention even if attendance is not mandated by the religion. The Court found that the duty to accommodate was triggered so long as the desire to attend the convention, … Continue Reading
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