ADA in the News: June 6, 2018

Plausible 1st Amendment, ADA claims for Army vet fired by state after Facebook pic in Santa suit with rifle

A federal district court in Michigan has found plausible the First Amendment retaliation and disability discrimination claims of a disabled veteran who was disciplined for minor infractions and then terminated after he complained of discrimination by a manager who told other workers that the employee "looked crazy" in a Facebook picture he had posted of himself in a Santa Claus outfit while holding a semi-automatic rifle. However, the court found that the individual defendants were entitled to qualified immunity on his claim of Second Amendment retaliation, so granted the defendants' motion to dismiss in part. (Congden v Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, EDMich, May 29, 2018, Goldsmith, M.)

Company, EEOC reach settlement on chronic pulmonary condition case

Q: Earlier this year, a California-based company reached a settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in a disability discrimination lawsuit involving an employee who suffered from COPD, emphysema and asthma. What was the basis of the claims?

A: The EEOC alleged that InsideUp not only refused the employee's repeated requests for a ground-floor office so that he wouldn't have to climb the stairs to his second-floor office, but that it also later discharged him without giving a reason. The agency further alleged that the company failed to engage in an interactive discussion as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Q: What were the terms of the settlement with the EEOC?

A: In addition to paying $10,500 to the terminated employee, InsideUp agreed to provide training to all of its employees on the requirements of ADA, revise its anti-discrimination and retaliation policies and procedures, and centrally track requests for reasonable accommodations as well as complaints of discrimination and/or retaliation. Additionally, the company will be subject to reporting and monitoring requirements.

Q: The employee in this case had a chronic pulmonary condition that limited his ability to climb the stairs to his workstation. What other types of conditions might be covered under the ADA?

A: The ADA applies to individuals with long-term physical or mental/psychological impairments that significantly interfere with their ability to perform their daily life activities. In addition to disabilities related to physical limitations on an employee's ability to walk, climb or lift, the ADA has been applied to a wide range of conditions, including diabetes, cancer, seizure disorders, migraine headaches, and a number of psychological impairments such as anxiety disorders and some learning disabilities. Temporary, short-term impairments with little or no lasting effects usually are not disabilities.

The future of leave compliance: 3 takeaways from DMEC

HR Dive

At the Disability Management Employer Coalition's (DMEC) annual FMLA/ADA Employer Compliance Conference, stakeholders gleaned myriad insights and lessons from speakers. But three themes emerged that promise to have a significant impact on day-to-day leave compliance.

The Unique Challenges of Workplace Accommodation for Psychiatric Disabilities

Workforce Management

There needs to be a consistent, ongoing dialogue to identify accommodations that work for both sides.

Customer alleges Fast Auto Loans did not have ADA-compliant parking space

Northern California Record

A paraplegic alleges that a South Gate business did not have a parking space that was in compliance with regulations for disabled patrons.

Young Hee Park filed a complaint on May 7 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against 3705 Firestone Blvd LLC and Does 1-10 citing the Americans with Disabilities Act.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff is a paraplegic and uses a walker or cane for mobility. She alleges that she went to Fast Auto Loans, which is located at the defendant's property, in January but alleges the parking lot did not have a compliant handicap parking space.

The plaintiff holds 3705 Firestone Blvd LLC and Does 1-10 responsible because the defendants allegedly denied her the full and equal access to their facility through the inaccessible parking lot.

The plaintiff seeks judgment against defendant for damages, injunctive relief, attorney's fees, litigation expenses and costs of suit. She is represented by Jong Yun Kim of Law Offices of Jong Yun Kim in Los Angeles.

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California case number 2:18-cv-03806

Woodbury Restaurant Agrees To Make Changes To Resolve Complaint

The settlement agreement resolves an ADA complaint filed by an individual with disabilities, federal officials said.

Consulting group focuses on the American Disabilities Act in a training program


Humboldt County and a consulting firm held an ADA training session today at the Sequoia Conference Center. Those in attendance included, design firms, inspectors, and building owners.

The SZS consulting group wants to help people that either design or own buildings to be in compliance with the American Disabilities Act. They say it’s important to have support from local engineers, architects, and building officials.

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