Just seems like common sense to me, especially where the employee seeking the accommodation would have to operate a motor vehicle.

Wait a minute!

Did an employee with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act really think it would be reasonable for his employer to allow him to take narcotic pain medication so that he could operate a company vehicle pain free?

More after the jump…

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Little known fact: Pythagoras invented the Pythagorean theorem around 500 BC, which he nearly dubbed the  Chicken Pot Pie theorem, because he loved CPPs so much. That same year, Pythagoras’s brother, Sarogahtyp, discovered that, when one man tweaks another man’s nipple, it’s not sex discrimination. But, it will get you a black eye — especially when the recipient is your brother and he’s finalizing his legendary theorem when finishing off a flaky CPP.

Thousands of years later, it still holds true that when a man delivers a purple nurple — some of you know it by a more boorish synonym — to a male subordinate, it may be “manifestly inappropriate and obnoxious,” as one federal appellate court ruled last week, but it’s probably not sex discrimination.

More after the jump…

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I had planned to blog today about yesterday’s oral argument before the Supreme Court in Young v. UPS, the case about when an employer must accommodate a pregnant employee.

But…

The Philadelphia 76ers stole the spotlight — and my evening — with their first win of the season, an 85-77 victory over the Minneapolis Timberwolves, whose team colors of white, blue, and black have officially been replaced with shame, ignominy, and more shame.

I guess those Sixers will get paid sick leave in 2015 after all. Congratulations to the 1-17 Sixers!

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEKK3GVd150

Now, if you are looking for more on yesterday’s oral argument, here is the oral argument transcript, and check out these links:

Under federal law (Title VII), employers cannot discriminate because of one’s sex. While Title VII does not explicitly coverage transgender employees (i.e., someone born female who presents male, and vice-versa; also known as gender identity), the EEOC’s position is that transgender employees are protected too. Indeed, they’ve begun filing federal lawsuits on behalf of transgender employees who claim to have been discriminated against.

But, Courts have not uniformly accepted the EEOC’s position. Indeed, the state of the law here is very much unsettled.

Just before Thanksgiving, a Texas federal court considered whether an employer can discriminate under Title VII based purely on gender identity…and get away with it.

More after the jump…

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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is obsessed with wellness programs.

Or, as the EEOC likes to describe them “‘so-called’ wellness programs.” And not in a “yay, so-called wellness programs are super” kinda way.

No, in recent months, the EEOC has initiated litigation against companies (example, example, example) claiming that they violate the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Non-Disclosure Act by both requiring medical examination and penalizing employees who decline to participate.

Back in May 2013, one of the panel experts invited to speak at an EEOC public meeting on wellness programs lamented that, while the ADA allows employers to ask for medical information in connection with voluntary wellness programs, the meaning of “voluntary” merits further clarification.

EEOC Commissioner Lipnic too stressed that the EEOC has a “responsibility where possible to let stakeholders know the Commission’s position on these important questions.”

And Senate Republicans, well, they don’t exactly see eye-to-eye with the EEOC on this issue.

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Have you cast your vote for The Employer Handbook as the top Labor and Employment blog in the ABA Journal’s Blawg 100? If not, please take a few secs and do it here.

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And so the EEOC has announced (here), that in February 2015, it will provide wellness-program guidance to employers “to address numerous inquiries EEOC has received about whether an employer that complies with regulations implementing the final Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules concerning wellness program incentives, as amended by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), will be in compliance with the ADA.”

The EEOC believes that its new guidance “will benefit entities covered by title I of the ADA by generally promoting consistency between the ADA and HIPAA, as amended by the ACA, and result in greater predictability and ease of administration,” while imposing “no new or additional risks to employers.”

As former EEOC Chair Berrien recognized at the EEOC’s public meeting in May, there has been “broad, bipartisan support for the expanded use of wellness programs to reduce health insurance and healthcare costs.” So, hopefully, the EEOC can strike a reasonable balance between the intent of these programs and federal anti-discrimination laws.

Or maybe it’s the good karma from yesterday’s Social Media @ Work giveaway.

Whatever it may be, I’ll just smile and say thank you to the ABA Journal for honoring The Employer Handbook (again) as one of the top blogs in America.

Special props also go out to the other blogs honored in the Labor and Employment Category:

Eight great honorees. But, there can be only one. That’s right, through December 19, you can cast your vote for the best Labor and Employment law blog of them all. Here’s how…

  1. Click here.
  2. Register.
  3. Scroll down the page to the “Labor and Employment” category, and click on it.
  4. Click “Vote Now!” for your favorite blog.

The whole process takes 20 seconds.

And who’s the reigning, defending, ABA Blawg 100 Champion of the World, you ask?

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