ADA

Focus on behavior, not possible disability when disciplining employees

04/15/2014
Here’s a tip that may save you from unnecessary litigation: When it comes to disciplining a disruptive worker, focus on the behavior. Don’t speculate on the reason the employee may be disruptive.

Brownsville answers ADA suit in case of fired police officer

04/07/2014
The city of Brownsville has filed its answer to a former police officer’s suit alleging the city violated the ADA when it fired her shortly after discovering she suffered from Sjogren’s syndrome, which causes headaches, dry eyes and joint pain and swelling.

Standardize accommodations process to manage your ADA risks

04/03/2014
Disabled employees who need reasonable accommodations can’t jump the gun and sue prematurely. If they continue doing their jobs and their employer does not take any ad­­verse action against them, they don’t yet have grounds for an ADA lawsuit.

Obama's 2015 budget: Less for DOL, but more for EEOC enforcement

04/02/2014
The Obama administration’s proposed 2015 budget calls for a slight reduction in federal funding for the U.S. Department of Labor but bigger bucks for the EEOC.

How far must we go to accommodate a pregnant employee's no-lifting request?

03/31/2014
Q. We have a pregnant employee who works as a nurse and has asked that she be excused from lifting patients during her pregnancy. Do we have to grant her request?

Warn bosses: No joking ever about impairment

03/31/2014
While you may think it isn’t necessary because it seems so obvious, you must warn supervisors that making fun of any impairment is asking for trouble. Remind them that they must focus on performance when criticizing work, even if they believe that an impairment is affecting performance.

EEOC sees 7 issues ripe for more enforcement

03/31/2014
Employers take note: EEOC Legal Counsel Peggy R. Mastroianni has said that it will increase enforcement efforts in these areas in coming months.

EEOC settles GINA discrimination lawsuit with N.Y. employer

03/13/2014

In January, the EEOC announced it had reached a settlement with Founders Pavilion, a former nursing and rehabilitation center in Corning. The EEOC had sued, alleging that Founders violated the Gene­­tic Information Non­­dis­­crimi­­na­­tion Act. The case marked only the third time the EEOC has brought a lawsuit alleging an employer violated GINA. It was the first time a GINA suit alleged systemic discrimination.

Is that alcohol you smell on employee's breath? What to do now

03/12/2014
When you smell alcohol on an employee, or receive reports that an employee smells of alcohol, you need to act fast to protect everyone’s safety—but not so fast that you mishandle the situation. Follow these guidelines.

Light-duty assignments and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act

03/07/2014
Sometimes, it may be appropriate to offer light-duty assignments to pregnant employees. However, there’s a right way and a wrong way to handle those accommodations.

Let injured worker stay on leave until fully healed

03/06/2014
Disabled employees who return to work before fully healed may be eligible for light-duty positions or other modifications as reasonable accommodations. However, employers that allow leave until the employee is fully healed don’t have that obligation.

Employee committed firing offense? Terminate ASAP--or else prepare for court

03/06/2014
If you don’t terminate an employee for an obvious firing of­­fense but later use that reason to justify a discharge, you’d better have a good explanation for the delay. Otherwise, a jury may see the move as a pretext for some form of discrimination.

Accommodation discussions: How interactive must they be?

03/06/2014

The ADA gives disabled employees the right to request “reasonable accommodations” to do the essential functions of their jobs. To choose those accommodations, em­­ployer and employee must engage in an “informal, interactive process.” But when does the employer get to draw the line?

Disabled worker says her job is too stressful; must you restructure it to remove stress?

03/05/2014
How far does an employer have to go to accommodate the effects of stress if an employee is disabled? The answer: probably not very far if stress is a key part of the person’s job, as the following case shows.

Develop process for extending FMLA leave

02/28/2014
Some employees aren’t quite ready to return from FMLA leave after their 12 weeks are up. How you handle their request can make the difference between winning and losing a discrimination lawsuit.
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