Overview: The EEOC is cracking down on employee discrimination against individuals with disabilities (a more preferred term than disabled employees) under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). An individual is considered disabled under the ADA if: (i) they have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of their major life activities; or (ii) a record of such an impairment; or (iii) are regarded as having such an impairment. Employers need to apply this definition broadly and are wise to focus more on the interactive process and the duty to accommodate the individual. In addition, because many states and municipalities have laws that define what constitutes a disability, employers should check their state/local law to ensure full compliance.
Employers should also ensure they have the required ADA poster and supplement in locations that can be easily seen by applicants and employees and that their policies, programs and practices follow the purpose and language of the amended ADA.
Trends: With the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA), many more individuals fall within the ADA's definition of disability. The growing definition of disability is another reason why an employee who has a disability wants to be considered an individual with a disability, as opposed to being a disabled employee. Therefore, employer focus on the interactive process and reasonably accommodating employees - and not whether the individual is disabled - is increasingly paramount.
"No fault" leave or attendance policies under which employees are automatically terminated after being on leave for a specific period of time can be considered a violation of the ADA if the policy or practice fails to incorporate an interactive process to assess whether additional, definite leave may be a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. The EEOC has targeted several employers - to the tune of millions of dollars - challenging such no-fault leave policies.
Author: Melissa S. Burdorf, JD, Legal Editor
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against a qualified individual with a disability with respect to job application procedures, hiring, advancement, termination, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment. This section highlights ADA compliance minefields, including the definition of disability, reasonable accommodations and the interactive process, and medical examinations and inquiries.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Connecticut employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to disabilities (ADA).
California has long been among the most active states when it comes to employment law. Anthony Oncidi, head of the labor and employment law group at the Los Angeles office of Proskauer Rose, discusses recent changes in the law plus other key challenges affecting California employers.
California is a bellwether state when it comes to employment law, and 2013 did nothing to diminish that reputation. In this new XpertHR podcast, management-side attorney Anthony Oncidi discusses key developments from the past year affecting California employers. Oncidi heads the labor and employment law group in the Los Angeles office of Proskauer Rose.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Alaska employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to the Americans with Disabilities act.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Colorado employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to disabilities.
As previously reported, effective January 30, 2014, New York City employers with four or more employees may not terminate or refuse to provide a reasonable accommodation to a pregnant employee or an employee recovering from childbirth or a related medical condition if the employee requests an accommodation and the accommodation will allow the employee to perform the essential functions of her job. As part of its obligations under the new law, the New York City Human Rights Commission has released a written notice that employers must provide to all new hires at the start of employment and all current employees on or before January 30, 2014.
Various sections of the Employment Law Manual have been updated to reflect a recent 5th Circuit Court of Appeal's ruling in Feist v. Louisiana.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Louisiana employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to ADA disabilities.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Mississippi employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to disabilities.
HR guidance on handling employees with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Support on the many regulations of the ADA.