Articles Posted in Disability

Photo Apr 30, 10 57 11 AM

My other car is a minivan

Last Summer, I blogged here about how requiring an employee with a disability to stay out of work until 100% cured (i.e., a no-restrictions policy) automatically violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. As courts have described it, the policy does not allow a case-by-case assessment of an individual’s ability to perform essential functions of the individual’s job, with or without accommodation.

ADA violation…check!

But, what about having a 100%-cured policy for an employee taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act?

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Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania is about to become the second Commonwealth in the United States to legalize medical marijuana. (23 states — la di da, states — plus DC currently allow it)

Does this mean that employees with migraines can puff vape pens and eat Cheetos in your break rooms at work? Actually, I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works.

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Wooden file cabinet.JPGThe Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to provide a reasonable accommodation to an individual with a disability, if doing so will allow that person to perform the essential functions of the job.

Temporary light duty? Yep, that’s a reasonable accommodation.

But, what about permanent light duty?

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A received a number of emails following yesterday’s blog post, “Can you refuse to hire a person whom you fear may have a future disability?” Most were nice. Although, I didn’t appreciate one reader’s virtual flaming bag of virtual dog poop left in my inbox. That person can go to virtual hell. Or actual hell.

But, one of the more substantive emails was worthy of setting the table for today’s post:

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Over the next few days. you may read a bunch of headlines about yesterday’s Eighth Circuit decision in Morris v. BNSF Railway (opinion here), touting the court’s holding that obesity, by itself, is a not a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Specifically, the court concluded that “for obesity, even morbid obesity, to be considered a physical impairment, it must result from an underlying physiological disorder or condition.” The Eighth Circuit’s conclusions aligns with prior decisions from the Sixth Circuit (opinion here) and the Second Circuit (opinion here).

But, that’s not what caught my attention.

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Cartelon de OT 1

Back in 2012, when I wasn’t part of this new protected class, I wrote here about whether an employer would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act by requiring an employee to work overtime. The takeaway from that post was, yes, if working a minimum number of hours each week is an essential job function, disabled or not, an employee needs to work those hours.

On Wednesday, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals revisited this issue. Let’s see what happened…

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