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  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR LAW Weekly
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Steer clear of questions about past drug use

Warn supervisors not to pry into employees’ medical histories, including past abuse of drugs or alcohol. Simply asking workers about a perceived previous drug problem could trigger a lawsuit.

Long covid could trigger FMLA, ADA liability

Employers need to be ready to respond to more requests for both FMLA intermittent leave and ADA accommodations.

EEOC test case argues for even more telework

Last year, the EEOC endorsed remote work as an effective accommodation for disabled employees with pre-existing health conditions that made them more susceptible to infection. Now the EEOC has launched a lawsuit testing the argument that telework should be an accommodation even for workers who aren’t technically disabled but are at higher risk of covid-related complications.

Beware associational bias arising from covid

Associational discrimination is discrimination against an employee or applicant because of their association with a member of a protected class to which the employee does not belong. The consequences of covid-19 infections raise the possibility of new forms of associational discrimination and retaliation.

Spot difference between disabled and difficult

Some employees are harder to manage than others. They fail to follow directions, complain about assigned tasks and gripe about general working conditions. But sometimes disabled employees do all those things, too. Make sure you know the difference.

Warn bosses about bias against addiction disability

Refusing to hire someone because of the nature of their disability violates the ADA. That includes making harsh judgments about applicants who may have a disability related to addiction. It doesn’t matter whether the disability was triggered by the individual’s arguably poor choices.

Long covid may be an ADA-covered disability

Some people suffer for months with brain fog, joint and muscle pain, difficulty breathing, being unable to smell or taste and any number of other conditions.

Warn your managers: Loose lips are legal trouble

Train managers to avoid making comments that can be used against your organization in court. Example: Calling an employee’s disability a “liability” can easily trigger an ADA lawsuit.

Jury to Walmart: $125 million for disability bias

A massive award in an EEOC lawsuit sends a powerful message: Courts have little patience for employers that discriminate against disabled workers, and won’t hesitate to make them pay.

No FMLA? Consider time off as ADA accommodation

When an employee is ill but has no leave available, supervisors often tell them they must show up for work or else be fired. But firing her could be a huge mistake. She might have a disability that could be reasonably accommodated by offering unpaid leave.