Legal Traps to Avoid When Dealing with FMLA Requests

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

If you are a business owner who is confused about navigating the various rules and timelines within the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, you certainly aren’t alone. The law has plenty of caveats and it’s important that you pay attention to all of the details and nuances of the law so you don’t go astray. Here’s a handy list of mistakes to avoid. Top FMLA Mistakes Firing It would be a bad idea to fire an employee if they’re unable to return to work following the end of FMLA leave that is due to their serious health condition. Better to…
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EEOC Says Use of Service Dog is ‘Reasonable Accommodation’ under ADA

| posted in Blog

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued an employer for refusing to hire a job applicant because he used a service dog. In the complaint filed in March, the EEOC accused the employer of failing to accommodate, refusing to hire and retaliating against the man who’d applied for a truck driver position. The action illustrates just how broadly the EEOC construes the Americans with Disabilities Act when it comes to individuals who rely on service or comfort animals to cope with their disabilities. In the case at hand, the applicant had been admitted to driver training with the trucking firm’s…
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Court Says Okay to Fire Medical Pot User Who Fails Drug Test

| posted in Blog

As more and more states legalize marijuana for personal or medical use, employers have grown increasingly concerned about what they can and cannot do to enforce their existing drug policies. A federal court in New Mexico has dismissed a case brought by an employee who was terminated after testing positive for marijuana, despite the worker having a medical marijuana card. The worker had claimed disability discrimination. The lawsuit is a victory for employers who maintain a zero-tolerance policy towards drug use, even if it’s not being done at work. In the case, Garcia vs. Tractor Supply Company, a new employee…
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How to Avoid Being Sued for ADA Violations

| posted in Blog

During the last eight years since the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) was enacted, the landscape for employers has changed dramatically. The odds of being sued have increased significantly and the onus is now on employers to engage in an interactive process with an employee who claims to be disabled or one that you, as an employer, consider to be disabled. The original Americans with Disabilities Act has been in effect for 25 years, but the ADAAA shifted the emphasis from whether an employee has a qualifying disability to the interactive process and the efforts employers take to…
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Telecommuting Not Required for ADA ‘Accommodation’

| posted in Blog

A federal appeals court recently ruled that telecommuting is a reasonable accommodation for disabled workers, but employers do not have to honor such requests if they have business or strategic reasons for not permitting such arrangements. The April 2015 decision by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in the EEOC v. Ford Motor Co. is an excellent illustration of how employers can deal with requests for telecommuting as part of your obligation to accommodate disabled workers. If you are amenable to telecommuting and an employee requests it, you have an easy situation, but if you do not want employees…
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