• The HR Specialist - Print Newsletter
  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR LAW Weekly
  • The HR Weekly


Focus reviews on performance, not emotions

When you evaluate an employee who isn’t living up to performance expectations, avoid commenting on her emotional state. Focus on objective criteria like unmet goals or sales quotas. Otherwise, you risk a lawsuit claiming discrimination on the basis of disability.

How the ADA treats alcoholism and addiction

Dealing with an employee who is struggling with alcohol or drug abuse is one of HR’s most difficult issues. Don’t make a delicate task even harder by running afoul of the ADA.

In addition to applicants and staff, your customers have ADA rights, too

Employers tend to focus on accommodating disabled applicants and employees, but forget about accommodating disabled customers. They may not worry about accessibility unless a disabled applicant or employee asks for accommodations. That can be a mistake.

Neither ADA nor FMLA require indefinite leave

Disabled workers with serious health conditions have other time-off options once FMLA leave expires. But there is no requirement for employers to provide continuous, indefinite leave based on the mere hope that the worker will soon be able to return to work.

Asking for 3rd medical opinion gets a lawsuit in reply

Brock Services, a Houston maintenance company, faces an EEOC lawsuit after it terminated a scaffolding team leader due to his impaired vision.

Court: 5 weeks off could be reasonable accommodation

Not every disabled employee can return to work as soon as he’s used up all available leave. Firing him before even considering extra time off as a reasonable accommodation could trigger a failure-to-accommodate lawsuit.

Study: Age, obesity trigger rise in disability claims

A study of 10 years’ worth of claims data by the Unum insurance group shows an alarming jump in the number of disability claims related to joint disorders and other musculoskeletal problems

2nd Circuit just made it harder for disabled employees to sue

In a surprise win for New York employers trying to manage disabled workers, it just became a bit more difficult for plaintiffs in the 2nd Circuit to win disability discrimination claims brought under the ADA.

Back pain common, but not always a disability

Back pain is the most commonly cited cause of work-related disability. But is back pain always an ADA-qualifying disability?

Take extra care when firing after ADA, FMLA

Firing an employee who is returning from ADA or FMLA leave is a risky proposition. Make absolutely sure you can justify the termination with legitimate business reasons that have nothing to do with missing work, taking leave or requesting accommodations.