June 3rd, 2019 by Katherine Dudley Helms at Ogletree Deakins
The measles is (are?) back and whether you believe in vaccination or not, the chances that you will need to deal with them (it?) in the workplace is greater than it has ever been in your professional lifetime. Katherine Dudley Helms answers six measles FAQs.
May 8th, 2019 by Melissa Legault at Squire Patton Boggs
The American Medical Association has officially recognized obesity as a disease.
The EECO takes the position that obesity is an impairment under the ADA under some, but not all, circumstances.
Many courts have concluded that physical characteristics, such as obesity, are not considered disabilities under the ADA.
Melissa Legault helps you weigh the factors and provides some court examples.
April 22nd, 2019 by Robin Shea at Constagy
Fat-shaming at work (and everywhere, but we do pander to the SEO gods) is rude, offensive, clueless, inappropriate, (insert your own adjective(s)), and expensive.
Not always expensive, but never helpful.
Robin Shea provides some background, including some help with the behaviour requirements for a legal claim of "intentional infliction of emotional distress" (spoiler alert - did this particular case reach the burden of proof? - OK, not really a spoiler alert) and a bit of potent advice" "Employers should never ignore such behavior".
I forgot ignorant. So ignorant.
December 24th, 2018 by Robin Shea at Constangy
One of our favorites, Robin Shea, invites you into her Christmas HR world with a Christmas-themed quiz featuring:
And to all a good night!
November 21st, 2018 by hrsimple
Depression is an illness. Depression can be treated. Depression should not be ignored.
And the holidays can carry lots of triggers: sentimental memories, loneliness, less sunlight, changes in diet/routine, alcohol at parties, end-of-year timelines at work, unrealistic expectations.
What can you, as an employer, do?
Read "What to Say (and Not Say) When an Employee Is Depressed" from Suzanne Lucas, aka Evil HR Lady, where she provides some answers, including:
October 19th, 2018 by Fiona W. Ong at Shawe Rosenthal
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rejected an employer’s assertion that the employee was not disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act because she had been cleared by her doctor to return to work without restrictions, where the employee still complained of physical limitations.
October 16th, 2018 by Robin Shea at Constangy
If nothing else, you want to read Robin Shea's blog because she makes a good in-context Kate Gosselin reference. Of course there is "else" which includes stuff you need to work through:
There is also a picture that is not the Official "Grumpy Cat".
September 28th, 2018 by Robin Shea at Constangy
Accommodation requests and firing are a bad mix, like a jalapeno and contacts or open nail polish in a car.
And as this is Friday afternoon, how about a "Bad" mix: Martin Scorsese's film/video of Michael Jackson's classic.
September 20th, 2018 by hrsimple
August 22nd, 2018 by Fiona W. Ong at Shawe Rosenthal
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that “full time presence at work is not an essential function of a job simply because an employer says that it is.” Interestingly, this seems to run counter to the Americans with Disabilities Act regulations, which state that evidence of whether a job function is essential includes, first, “The employer’s judgment as to which functions are essential.”
August 14th, 2018 by hrsimple
Service animal pop quiz (yes/no):
Peter Petesch at our partner Littler, suggests, among other things in this SHRM article, covering the following when handling service animal requests:
And for those of you in Philadelphia, a BONUS Littler workshop on September 6, Doggy Dilemmas: Accommodating Service Animals for Employees and Customers, complete with a demonstration from Canine Companion's assistance dog Mork.
August 6th, 2018 by Richard R. Meneghello and Myra K. Creighton at Fisher Phillips
For those of you who consider yourself a rules stickler, please see "Is the employee disabled under the ADA?" which is Part Uno in this blog series of two.
For those of you who are more of a rules recusant, the china shop is yours.
August 1st, 2018 by Shelby Skeabeck, formerly of Shawe Rosenthal
However, you can discipline and even terminate employees for violating work rules even though they have a legally protected condition.
July 27th, 2018 by Mathew Parker at Fisher Phillips
Nobody wants to hear those four words – "We need to talk" because it isn't going to be an easy conversation.
But you probably don't want to be the one saying them either.
Fact of HR: you are going to be saying those words at some time. And the longer you avoid saying them, the greater the anxiety for you and the more the entire workplace will suffer. Mat Parker from Fisher Phillips has 5 tips to help:
July 12th, 2018 by hrsimple
Obvious fact: you want to make sure your employees are taken care of.
Not so obvious fact: some of them might be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Possibly even shocking fact: your workers’ compensation plan may cover PTSD treatment.
Want to learn more about PTSD in the workplace and what treatment options are available? Our friends at the Iowa Association of Business and Industry and their friend Juli Jenkins at LMC Insurance and Risk Management have some good basic info for everybody.
* In Real Life
July 11th, 2018 by Richard R. Meneghello and Myra K. Creighton at Fisher Phillips
An individual is “disabled” under the terms of the statute if they have a “physical or mental impairment” that “substantially limits” one or more major life activities.**
That's a lot of quotation marks, which typically means BEWARE!
Rick and Myra provide some examples and some practical lessons, including:
** Of course, employees might also be considered disabled under the ADA if the employer regards them as being so impaired or has a record of such impairment, but for the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on the questions surrounding whether they actually have that kind of impairment.
May 17th, 2018 by Sofija Anderson at Littler
Dear Littler: We have an employee who is exhibiting signs of dementia or some other sort of cognitive impairment. He has fallen asleep at work a few times recently and seems confused by tasks that did not pose any problem for him in the past. His performance was solid for years but started declining in the past several months, along with his attention to detail. How do we handle our concerns about his well-being and performance? Should we ask him what’s going on with his health?
—Worried in Wisconsin
Dear Worried in Wisconsin . . .
January 25th, 2018 by Nancy Van der Veer Holt at Ford Harrison LLP
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed by President George H. W. Bush in 1990. It became effective July 26, 1992. It was most recently amended in 2008 with proposed regulations issued in September 2009 as to these amendments.
The ADA’s purpose was to address and prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities in matters relating to employment, housing, public accommodations, education, transportation, communication, recreation, health services, voting, institutionalization, and access to public services. According to initial Congressional findings, approximately 43 million Americans are disabled, either physically or mentally. This number will increase as the population becomes older and as the ADA Amendments go into effect. For more information, see Chapter 15, The ADA Amendments Act of 2008.
The ADA consists of five titles or sections: