Tag: disability

What to Expect from the EEOC in 2024

In 2023, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) finally received its full slate of commissioners with three Democrats (Chair Charlotte Burrows, Vice Chair Jocelyn Samuels, and Commissioner Kalpana Kotagal) and two Republicans (Commissioners Andrea Lucas and Keith Sonderling). In addition, the EEOC now has a confirmed general counsel for the first time since 2021. Employers […]

Creating an Inclusive Landscape: Strategies for HR and Leadership

As employers have increasingly recognized the untapped potential of individuals with disabilities, the landscape of the modern workforce is being reshaped, resulting in many advancements in disability employment. Yet, even with the growth of remote work opportunities that has emerged in the past few years, some barriers to employment opportunities for qualified people with disabilities […]

Case Study: Alcoholic Employee Must Meet Employer’s Performance Standards

A recent federal court decision notes that disabled employees or employees with substance abuse problems must comply with an employer’s policies and meet reasonable performance standards. Stephen Drizos, a long-term employee and financial advisor for PNC Investments, suffered from alcoholism. Some years after he began his employment, his alcoholism started to impact his attendance at […]

Case Study: 4th Circuit Delivers Road Map for Accommodation Process

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to engage in an interactive, good-faith process to determine if reasonable accommodations can be made for disabled employees that would allow them to perform the essential functions of the job. A recent case decided by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals (which has jurisdiction over North Carolina) […]

Complying with the OFCCP’s New Disability Self-Identification Form

On July 25, 2023, an updated form from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) became required for all applicable federal contractors and subcontractors subject to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. The new form lists additional disabilities, expands the possible responses, and provides more descriptive and inclusive language. It also clarifies that completing the form […]

Gender Dysphoria May Be an ADA Disability

The rights of transgender persons have become a hot button issue not only in schools and sports but in the workplace as well. Recently, the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose rulings apply to employers in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia) weighed in on whether a transgender woman, who suffered […]

Restaurant and Service Dog: ADA Cautionary Tale for Employers

A restaurant in Burlington, Vermont, recently made headlines after refusing to seat a customer with a service dog. The restaurant owner cited an incident in which a previous patron’s dog attacked a neighboring table. In addition, she refused to seat the customer because of her unfamiliarity with their dog and a history of other customers […]

Court Restores Accommodation Claim for Employee with Pending Leave Request

Once an employee requests an accommodation, their employer has a duty to engage in an “interactive process” to try to determine whether they can accommodate the disability. With that in mind, employers should take note of this recent decision from the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Tennessee, Ohio, Kentucky, and Michigan). The […]

Unwelcome Office Birthday Party Leads to $450K Verdict, Lessons on Disability Law

Misunderstandings over an office birthday party recently taught a Kentucky employer an expensive lesson about disability discrimination. A jury awarded $450,000 to the affected employee who didn’t want the party and allegedly suffered a panic attack afterward. The employer’s alleged, repeated mishandling of the worker’s behavior after the episode offers the best explanation for the […]