Reasonable Accommodation

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 in some of the new laws taking effect January 1, 2016.  Links to the statutes are provided.
Continue Reading New Year, New Rules For Employers Doing Business in California

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 the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”).  Specifically, the Second Circuit held that: (i) the employer reasonably accommodated plaintiff by providing American Sign Language (“ASL”) interpreters capable of translating intranet files; and (ii) in light of this accommodation, plaintiff had no claim under the ADA or the NYSHRL that the employer failed to engage in the interactive process.
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)

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 are thinking about instituting wellness programs, should become familiar with the proposed regulations if they wish to avoid litigation.
Continue Reading An Ounce Of Prevention…Does Your Voluntary Wellness Program Comply With Proposed EEOC Regulations?

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 to telecommute as a reasonable accommodation.  EEOC v. Ford Motor Co., No. 12-2484.  Eight judges on the Sixth Circuit ruled in favor of Ford, while five dissented.  The decision highlights many of the thorny issues concerning telecommuting as a potential reasonable accommodation under the ADA.  It also underscores the importance of engaging in a good faith “interactive process” with a disabled employee requesting accommodation.
Continue Reading Sixth Circuit Holds That Ford Motor Co. Was Not Required to Accommodate Telecommuting

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 been selected for an interview.  If an employer does not conduct interviews, then any inquiry into an applicant’s criminal background cannot take place until after the employer makes a conditional offer of employment.
Continue Reading New Illinois Laws in 2015: What Employers Should Know

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

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

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

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