Disability

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    It's widely understood in the retail business that employees must have scheduling flexibility and be available when customers are shopping — which is often in the evenings and on weekends. A recent case in Maine involved a diabetic employee whose doctor recommended a predictable schedule that seemed contrary to her employer's business needs...
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    An employer made an incorrect assumption about a disabled applicant. When a court disagreed with the assumption, the employer paid the applicant more than $50,000. Lynn, Jackson, Shultz & Lebrun, P.C., the firm of South Dakota Employment Law Letter editor Jane Wipf Pfeifle, was involved in this case. All facts are taken solely from the court's...
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    An employer failed to forward the short-term disability (STD) premium it deducted from an employee's paycheck to the insurance company. When the employee filed for STD benefits after she was fired, the insurance company denied her claim. She sued, but the employer escaped liability under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) because...
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    Since the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) went into effect in 2009, it's rarely ever necessary for a court to consider whether an employee is "disabled" for purposes of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Even seemingly minor conditions such as migraine headaches, anxiety, and high blood pressure are now considered disabilities under the...
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    Since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, courts have issued many decisions on what is considered a "disability." In 2008, Congress felt the U.S. Supreme Court was too restrictive in its interpretation of "disability" and passed the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) to "clarify" the original intent of the ADA. The U.S. 4th...
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    Consider this scenario: During the snowstorm in February, one of your employees fell and sustained serious injuries to both legs. The employee underwent two extensive surgeries, and his doctor says he won't be able to walk for seven months. He has no leave available and asks about working from home. As a matter of policy, you don't allow...
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    An Ohio appellate court recently held that an employee who took short-term disability (STD) and long-term disability (LTD) leave and received Social Security disability benefits and early retirement distributions did not have a valid disability discrimination claim because he could no longer perform his job. The case is an example of frivolous...
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    In recent years, a number of individuals and groups have traveled to Florida and filed hundreds of lawsuits against businesses that are open to the public. The lawsuits claim that businesses violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by having structural barriers that deny access to facilities. About a year ago, several individuals went...
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    Sometimes the employment law issues involved with terminations and disciplinary decisions are discouraging for employers. Employees know the buzzwords "discrimination," "harassment," "retaliation," and "hostile work environment," and employers are all too aware of the long, terrible road of an employment lawsuit. As a result, many employers make...
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    A sewer mechanic who suffered from bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was fired three days after he asked not to be required to carry a pager for on- call night duty because of the side effects of his prescription medicine. He then sued his former employer, alleging he was subjected to...
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