EEOC Says Use of Service Dog is ‘Reasonable Accommodation’ under ADA

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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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EEOC Eyes Employer Actions against Prescription Drug Users

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By now you will be aware of the scourge of opioid abuse that’s swept the country over the past decade and the damage it is doing to individuals and families. Overdoses from legal prescription drugs – mostly opioids and other strong pain relievers – last year surpassed overdoses from street drugs like heroin for the first time. However, some employers are going too far in trying to prevent employees from taking certain medications while on the job and have as a result run afoul of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. As you would enter an interactive process when trying to…
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How to Avoid Being Sued for ADA Violations

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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’

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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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