Articles Posted in Disability

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The Americans with Disabilities Act requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities who are employees or applicants for employment. However, the ADA does not require an employer to assist a person without a disability due to that person’s association with someone with a disability. Still, an employer cannot discriminate against an employee or applicant because of that person’s association with someone with a disability.

It’s called associational discrimination.

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Federal anti-discrimination laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, help ensure that individuals with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities at work as everyone else.

Both laws require employers to provide individuals with disabilities with reasonable accommodations if needed to perform the essential functions of their jobs. However, when a failure-to-accommodate claim gets litigated, the onus is on the employee to establish that they could perform their jobs, even with reasonable accommodations.

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A few months ago, I blogged about a lawsuit in which the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleged that an employer denied a deaf job applicant’s accommodation request and terminated his candidacy because verbal communication and hearing were job requirements for the position in a remote setting.

Late last month, that case settled for $150,000.

But writing a check is only the beginning for this employer. Continue reading

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Eric, we have an employee who needed four weeks off for hip surgery. We provided it. After the surgery, they requested three more months off to have a second surgery. We provided it. Then, they experienced even more complications that required even more surgery, and their doctor told us they couldn’t work with or without accommodations for an additional three to six months. Do we have to accommodate this too?Continue reading

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Suppose that several employees complain that a coworker is creating a “hostile work environment” because they were afraid that she (the coworker) was going to report them (the employees) for engaging in unspecified misconduct in the workplace.

Can the employer respond by mandating an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) referral as a condition of the coworker’s continued employment?

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The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) forbids discrimination against employees or applicants because of genetic information. Specifically, Title II of GINA prohibits using genetic information in making employment decisions, restricts employers from requesting, requiring, or purchasing genetic information, and strictly limits the disclosure of genetic information.

While GINA has been in effect for over ten years, it gets very little attention. Employees bring fewer discrimination charges under GINA than any other federal antidiscrimination statute that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission administers. But that doesn’t make it any less important or expensive when violations arise.

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“Doing What’s Right – Not Just What’s Legal”
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