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Showing 8 posts in ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAAA”).

Morbid Obesity is Not a Disability in Kentucky – For Now

Posted In ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAAA”), Americans with Disabilities Act, Kentucky Civil Rights Act (“KCRA”)

There’s no question that obesity is a national health crisis, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimating that more than a third of adults in the U.S. are obese. In 2013, the American Medical Association pronounced that it now finds obesity to be a disease, adding more fuel to the fire that suggests individuals afflicted with this disease could be considered “disabled” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). With regard to state law, however, the Kentucky Supreme Court closed the door – at least, for the time being - on disability claims with regard to obesity in the case of Pennington v. Wagner’s Pharmacy, Inc.[1]

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ADA “Direct Threat” Defense Just Got a Little Easier

The rights and protections afforded to those with disabilities by the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) are not without limitations. Accommodations for disabled employees must be reasonable, and the employee must still be able to perform essential job functions with an accommodation. Additionally, the employee’s disability cannot pose a risk to her- or himself or others in the course of job functions if that risk cannot be eliminated or reduced by a reasonable accommodation. This is known as the “direct threat” defense – adverse employment or hiring actions taken against an employee or applicant were done so to mitigate a direct threat to the safety of the employee or others. More >

Anxiety over Reasonable Accommodation under the ADA for Social Anxiety Disorder

Posted In ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAAA”), Adverse Employment Action, Americans with Disabilities Act

Employers might be just a bit more anxious after learning that the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (“EEOC”) defined the “ability to interact with others” as a major life activity, bringing social anxiety disorder into the scope of protection afforded by the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The Fourth Circuit, in the case of Jacobs v. N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts,[1] recently agreed with the EEOC that social anxiety disorder may be a disability for ADA purposes. For practical purposes, however, the important takeaway in this case is that reasonable accommodation requests should never be taken lightly and all decisions that adversely affect employees should come with ample documentation. More >

Sixth Circuit Vacates Decision On Telecommuting Accommodation

In May, we wrote about the Sixth Circuit’s interesting decision in Equal Opportunity Commission v. Ford Motor Co., wherein the Court expanded the instances in which a telecommuting arrangement would be considered a reasonable accommodation for disabled employees in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).[1] More >

US Supreme Court Will Review Important Case Affecting Pregnant Workers, Part II

Posted In ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAAA”), EEOC, Employment Law, Litigation, Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Young v. UPS

On Monday, details about the case Young v. UPS were discussed. Young was a part-time UPS driver who, after becoming unable to lift heavy packages due to her pregnancy, was denied her request for light duty. She alleges that UPS violated the law by failing to provide her the same accommodations as it provided to nonpregnant employees with physical disabilities who were similar in their ability to work. After the District Court and Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals both found for UPS, Young petitioned filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court. UPS, however, responded to the petition with an argument that the 2008 amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) could render the case moot.  The actions that led to the suit occurred in 2006 – before the amendments to the ADA were made. More >

A Review of the EEOC in 2013

One of the best ways that employers can know what liability risks they are most likely to encounter in any given year is to review what an agency was targeting in the previous year and to review the agency’s work plan. I recently reviewed some 2013 statistics from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) that are worth sharing:

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Kentucky Court of Appeals Weighs in Favor of Employee: Is Morbid Obesity a Disability? Part II

Our post on Monday detailed background information on a recent decision from the Kentucky Court of Appeals styled as Pennington v. Wagner’s Pharmacy, Inc. Before being heard by the Court of Appeals, the case was heard at the trial court, where the court had to consider whether the plaintiff, Melissa Pennington, was disabled as defined by the Kentucky Civil Rights Act due to morbid obesity. More >

Weight For It: How Will The AMA’s New Decision Affect Employers?

In a press release issued on June 18, 2013, the American Medical Association (“AMA”) declared obesity as a “disease.” The decision was met with sharp controversy, as it automatically classified millions of overweight Americans as diseased. Critics of the classification believe that obesity is not a disease and that there is no way to determine one’s health based on a number on the scale. The AMA hopes the new label will lead to better coverage and treatment for those who suffer from obesity.

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