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As employment law constantly changes, the attorneys at Bean, Kinney & Korman stay up to date on the law as it develops. Our blog topics focus on those changes and what you need to know about them, ranging from severance agreements and the FLSA to social media in the workplace and recent court decisions. If you are interested in having us cover a specific topic, please let us know.

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Posts tagged ADA.
Employer Antibody Testing for COVID-19 Violates the ADA, According to New EEOC Guidance

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission posted an update on June 17, 2020 to its COVID-19 / ADA technical assistance for employers (A.7.) to address whether the ADA permits employers to require COVID-19 antibody or serologic testing before allowing employees to reenter the workplace. The ADA does not permit serologic testing, according to the EEOC. 

COVID-19 FAQS for Employers

As most everyone in the world by now is aware, the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is sweeping the United States and rocking the economy. The federal government and nearly all 50 states have declared states of emergency. Many schools and businesses are closed or operating remotely. The pandemic creates unique issues for employers and employees alike. The following FAQs focus on the legal obligations of employers related to COVID-19.

Marijuana & the Workplace

As state laws and public opinion regarding marijuana continue to evolve, employers are confronting a variety of uncertainties about their drug policies. This article discusses marijuana laws and the ramifications of such laws for employers in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

When and where is marijuana use legal?

As of February 2020, 32 states and D.C. permit marijuana for medicinal purposes, and 11 states and D.C. permit marijuana for recreational purposes. 

Is Your Employee’s Extended Leave Request a Reasonable Accommodation?

Consider the following scenario. You are an employer to which the FMLA and ADA apply. One of your employees has been on unpaid FMLA leave due to medical conditions that have required ongoing treatment by a team of doctors. The employee has exhausted all of his sick leave and paid time off and is nearing the conclusion of the twelve weeks of unpaid FMLA leave to which he is entitled. You prepare a letter informing him that he must report back to work on the day after his leave has run out. Just before that date, however, the employee provides you with a doctor’s note stating that the employee requires additional medical testing as a part of his treatment, is unable to return to work at the present, and without the additional testing, it is unclear when the employee will be able to return to his job.

Happy Birthday: The Americans with Disabilities Act Turns Twenty-Five

July 26, 2015 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), which created comprehensive federal protections for individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including the workplace, providing equal access to the same employment opportunities and benefits available to persons without disabilities. In signing the law into effect twenty-five years ago, President George H.W. Bush noted:

With today’s signing of the landmark Americans [with] Disabilities Act, every man, woman and child with a disability can now pass through once-closed doors into a bright era of equality, freedom and independence.

Thirty-five years ago, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”) established that it is unlawful for employers with fifteen or more employees to discriminate against pregnant workers “because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.” That remains the basic law of the land today. What has remained unclear, however, is whether Congress, in passing the PDA, meant to compel employers to provide pregnant employees who are not able to work for medical reasons with accommodations, such as a light duty job, to the same extent as similarly situated, non-pregnant employees.

The Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in a case brought by Peggy Young against United Parcel Service (“UPS”) that is expected to provide some guidance as to whether and under what circumstances an employer may be required to accommodate pregnant employees under the PDA. Irrespective of what the court decides, however, covered employers should continue to ask whether such accommodations may still be necessary under recently implemented amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).

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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities.  The act was amended by the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008 with final regulations being issued in March 2011.  A significant change in the ADAAA was an expanded definition of “disability.”

For an impairment to be considered a disability under the pre-amended ADA, it had to prevent or severely restrict a person from performing activities central to most people’s daily lives.  With the enactment of the ADAAA and its subsequent regulations, it is now much easier for an impairment to be considered a disability.  To qualify as a disability, the impairment is only required to substantially limit one major life activity with life activities including reading, concentrating, communicating, working and thinking.

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January 2013 will mark the two-year anniversary the final regulations to the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act or the ADAAA took effect.  As we move into the third year of these new “employee friendly” regulations, it would serve to take a moment to review the prior and current state of the law. 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 

In July 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act became law.  The purpose of the ADA is to provide for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities.  Disputes under the original ADA focused on the definition of disability.  Impairments such as mental illness or mental disability were often disputed with some level of success.  Interpretation centered on whether an individual was disabled rather than the accommodation an employer could provide to assist that individual in performing his or her job.