Effective March 24, 2014, a new rule from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs will require federal contractors and subcontractors to take additional steps to recruit, hire, and retain individuals with disabilities, including surveying employees regarding their disability status and making efforts to employ a minimum of seven percent disabled workers.
Continue Reading Federal Contractors Face New Requirements Regarding Recruitment, Hiring, and Identification of Individuals with Disabilities

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 more stringent pleading requirements under the city law, as compared to the state law.
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

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 New York City Now Requires Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnant Workers

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 7% of employees are individuals with disabilities. The public comment period for this proposal has just closed, and the OFCCP is now in the process of reviewing respondents’ reactions.

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

Before filing suit under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA"), an employee must exhaust her administrative remedies with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing ("DFEH"). In the recently decided case of Wills v. Superior Court, the court gave little leeway to an employee, finding that she failed to exhaust her administrative remedies because her DFEH complaint only alleged discrimination based on a denial of family/medical leave, while her lawsuit raised different allegations of disability discrimination, retaliation, harassment, and failure to accommodate.

Continue Reading Court Says Okay to Terminate Bipolar Employee Who Threatened Coworkers

In Scott v. Napolitano, a California federal district court recently provided guidance on how employers may draft medical examination questionnaires that comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The plaintiff, a security officer, sued his employer for violation of the ADA, disability discrimination, and retaliation after he was suspended and then terminated for refusing to respond to the employer’s medical questionnaire. The plaintiff claimed that the questions he refused to answer were impermissible disability-related inquiries that ran afoul of the ADA. The plaintiff and the employer filed motions for summary judgment.

Continue Reading Employers May Be Liable For Violating ADA Based On Vague And Overbroad Medical Questionnaires

On November 19, 2009, the Ninth Circuit handed down its opinion in Fleming v. Yuma Regional Medical Center, 07-16427. The court faced the difficult task of interpreting the interplay between Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. § 794) and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Sixth and Eighth Circuits had previously held that the Rehabilitation Act incorporated Title I in its entirety, requiring an employer-employee relationship as a prerequisite to suing for discrimination. On the other hand, the Tenth Circuit had disagreed, and only incorporated the "standards" of Title I, allowing independent contractors to sue even without an employment relationship. In Fleming, the Ninth Circuit agreed with the Tenth Circuit, and held that the Rehabilitation Act would indeed cover claims by an independent contractor notwithstanding the lack of an employer-employee relationship.

Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Extends Rehabilitation Act to Independent Contractors

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 using a scooter before deciding to retire, and the employee never told the Company he could not do the job without the scooter.

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 recent California Court of Appeal case emphasized the need for employers to inquire further whenever an employee requests a medical leave that may qualify as "protected leave" pursuant to the California Family Rights Act ("CFRA").

Continue Reading Avila v. Continental Airlines: Ignorance Regarding Protected Medical Leaves Is Not Always Bliss