On July 26, 2023, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued updated guidance, Visual Disabilities in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act, addressing how the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) applies to job applicants and employees with visual disabilities. The guidance addresses various topics including: (1) when an employer may ask a job applicant or employee questions about his or her vision impairment and how an employer should treat voluntary disclosures; (2) what types of reasonable accommodations applicants or employees with visual disabilities may need; (3) safety concerns about applicants and employees with visual disabilities; and (4) ensuring no employee is harassed because of a visual disability.Continue Reading EEOC Releases Updated Guidance on Visual Disabilities in the Workplace
On June 18, 2020, the First Department issued Hosking v. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Ctr., 2020 N.Y. Slip Op. 03484 (1st Dept. June 18, 2020), a decision analyzing the more stringent requirements under the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) for employers to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities, compared to the requirements under the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). In Hosking, the First Department determined that plaintiff’s disability discrimination claims under the NYSHRL and NYCHRL properly survived summary judgment as issues of fact were raised about whether the defendant sufficiently engaged in a cooperative dialogue to accommodate plaintiff’s disability prior to terminating her employment.
Continue Reading New York’s First Department Appellate Division Highlights the Stringent Requirements for Reasonably Accommodating Individuals with Disabilities Under New York City Human Rights Law
On March 27, 2020, the EEOC released a webinar addressing frequently asked employer questions regarding federal antidiscrimination laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”), during the COVID-19 pandemic (the “Webinar”). The Webinar reviewed a number of important issues for employers to understand to avoid running afoul of the above-listed statutes during the pandemic. Key takeaways from the Webinar, organized by topic, are summarized below.
Continue Reading EEOC Issues New COVID-19 Guidance For Employers
As the number of confirmed positive cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19” or “coronavirus”) in the U.S. continues to rise, employers must prepare for issues that will inevitably arise as the virus spreads. While the Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) currently advises that “most people in the United States will have little immediate risk of exposure,” it is prudent for employers to evaluate their organizations’ current policies and practices in the event a major outbreak occurs. Some issues to consider include the following:
Continue Reading What Employers Need To Know To Prepare For Coronavirus
As of October 15, 2018, NYC employers with four or more employees will be required to engage in a “cooperative dialogue” with a person who may be entitled to a workplace accommodation. The “cooperative dialogue” resembles the “interactive process” that most employers are familiar with under the Americans with Disabilities Act, but the NYC law applies to more than disability-related accommodations and, importantly, requires employers to document the cooperative dialogue process. We have prepared this short Q&A to help employers understand their obligations under the new law.
Continue Reading New NYC Law Requires Employers to Engage in “Cooperative Dialogue” for Workplace Accommodations
The Seventh Circuit recently held in Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc. that a long-term leave of absence, particularly one extending beyond the twelve weeks of leave guaranteed by the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), does not warrant protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).
Raymond Severson was terminated from his job as a fabricator at Heartland after he exhausted his 12-week medical leave under the FMLA and requested to remain off work for several additional months to recover from back surgery. Severson sued Heartland under the ADA, arguing Heartland failed to provide him with a reasonable accommodation—namely, a three-month leave of absence following the expiration of his FMLA leave.
Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Holds Long-Term Leave is Not a Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA