Protecting At-Risk Employees

Employers Cannot Exclude At-Risk Employees, Says EEOC in New Return-to-Work Guidance 

Written by Jeremy Mittman and Carly Epstein

The EEOC recently answered the question whether employers can bar from the workplace employees who, according to the CDC, are at a “higher risk for severe illness” if they get COVID-19.

In the words of the EEOC in its press release: “It is important that employers understand that the ADA does not allow them to act against employees solely because the employee has a CDC-listed underlying medical condition.”

An employer cannot exclude — or take any other adverse action against — an employee solely because he/she falls within the CDC identified high risk category.  Instead, the employer must determine whether the “employee’s disability poses a ‘direct threat’ to his health that cannot be eliminated or reduced by reasonable accommodation.” Continue reading “Protecting At-Risk Employees”

Employees Put to the Test

Employers May Test Employees for COVID-19 Before Allowing Their Return to Workplace, EEOC Says Written by Jeremy Mittman and Thea Rogers The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) said in guidance released Thursday that employers may administer COVID-19 testing to employees in order to determine if they have the virus, prior to permitting them to return to the workplace.  The agency stated that this latest … Continue reading Employees Put to the Test

EEOC on COVID-19

EEOC Issues Guidance on the ADA, Rehabilitation Act & COVID-19 Written by Jeremy Mittman Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) Commission issued guidance related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Rehabilitation Act in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The EEOC specified that the ADA and Rehabilitation Act rules continue to apply, but they do not interfere with or prevent employers … Continue reading EEOC on COVID-19

Website Accessibility – Americans with Disabilities Act Impact

hands of business person working on computerBy Jonathan Turner and Susan Kohn Ross

Background

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) mandates that public accommodation must be provided to disabled persons to allow for the “full and equal enjoyment” of the related privileges, goods, services, advantages and accommodations as those provided to able bodied persons. The owner of any business is responsible for making sure those accommodations are made with “reasonable modification.” The ADA makes it very clear that a business that does not provide for that accommodation is engaging in unlawful discrimination 42 U.S.C. section 12182(b)(2)(A)(iii).

The statute provides for various examples of where public accommodations must be provided, including locations such as an inn, a restaurant, a theater, an auditorium, a bakery, a laundromat, a depot, a museum, a zoo, a nursery, a day care center, and a gymnasium. Noticeably absent from that list are websites. That’s because websites did not exist at the time the statute was passed, and Congress has not expressly addressed the issue in the interim. Continue reading “Website Accessibility – Americans with Disabilities Act Impact”

The EEOC Is Keeping Busy: EEOC Issues Additional Guidance About the ADA & Final Rules on Wellness Programs

By Emma Luevano

EEOC Guidance on Employer-Provided Leave and the Americans with Disabilities Act

Concerned about the number of complaints filed against employers for failing to provide reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently issued a reminder to employers about their obligations. While clarifying that the additional guidance does not create any new obligations, the EEOC reminded employers about the following:

* It is not sufficient to grant employees the maximum amount of leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and/or state equivalent (such as California’s Family Rights Act (“CFRA”)) to meet obligations under the ADA.  Instead, under the ADA, employers must also consider granting additional leave as a form of reasonable accommodation (beyond that required by the FMLA or CFRA), unless doing so will create an undue hardship for the employer.  As the EEOC indicated, “the Commission takes the position that compliance with the FMLA does not necessarily meet an employer’s obligation under the ADA, and the fact that any additional leave exceeds what is permitted under the FMLA, by itself, is not sufficient to show an undue hardship.”  As you already may know, the “undue hardship” standard is not easy for employers to meet. Continue reading “The EEOC Is Keeping Busy: EEOC Issues Additional Guidance About the ADA & Final Rules on Wellness Programs”