The Difficult Intersection of Workers' Compensation, FMLA and ADA when an Employee gets Sick or Injured
It can be hard enough for an employer to understand its obligations under state workers’ compensation laws. But it can be downright overwhelming when the myriad of other state and federal statutes, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act, also come into play. This tangled web of laws is one that often leaves employers uncertain and unable to move forward with confidence regarding employment decisions for injured or ill workers.
According to the United States Department of Labor (DOL), “When employees are injured, disabled or become ill on the job, they may be entitled to medical and/or disability-related leave under two federal laws: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In addition, state Workers' Compensation laws have leave provisions that may apply. Depending on the situation, one or more of these laws can apply to the same employee.”
- Bath & Body Works violated federal law when it denied an employee's request for a larger monitor at the cash register, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has alleged in a lawsuit (EEOC v. Impressions Inc., No. 0:18-cv-02758 (D. Minn., Sept. 26, 2018)).
- Instead, the employee, who has a vision impairment related to diabetes, was sent home and had her hours reduced, EEOC said; the Minnesota store manager then "bought a cheap magnifying glass and humiliated [the employee] by presenting it to her in front of her co-workers."
- The commission said the employee contacted the HR department but it "did not try to provide the larger monitor." Such conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), EEOC said in a press release announcing the suit. Greg Gochanour, an EEOC regional attorney, said that "[e]mployers must give serious consideration when an employee requests an accommodation for a disability."
The DOJ, responding to more than 100 House members calling for guidance and clarity regarding website accessibility requirements under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), issued a letter saying that public accommodations have flexibility in complying with such requirements.
United States: DOJ Finally Chimes In On State Of The Website Accessibility Legal Landscape – But Did Anything Really Change?
Mondaq News Alerts
As those of you who have followed my thoughts on the state of the website accessibility legal landscape over the years are well aware, businesses in all industries continue to face an onslaught of demand letters and state and federal court lawsuits (often on multiple occasions, at times in the same jurisdiction) based on the concept that a business' website is inaccessible to individuals with disabilities. One of the primary reasons for this unfortunate situation is the lack of regulations or other guidance from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) which withdrew long-pending private sector website accessibility regulations late last year. Finally, after multiple requests this summer from bi-partisan factions of Members Congress, DOJ's Office of Legislative Affairs recently issued a statement clarifying DOJ's current position on website accessibility. Unfortunately, for those hoping that DOJ's word would radically alter the playing field and stem the endless tide of litigations, the substance of DOJ's response makes that highly unlikely.
Employee Benefit News
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 40% of U.S. adults are obese. The CDC uses the Body Mass Index as the benchmark for obesity. BMI is a calculation based on height, weight and age. A BMI of 30 or more, applying the CDC standards, constitutes obesity.
A deaf Florida resident may sue the city of Hallandale Beach for not adding closed captioning to videos on its public website, a federal appeals court ruled.
In a Sept. 27 opinion, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court's decision that dismissed Eddie Sierra's lawsuit alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Business Management Daily
Technically, there’s no such thing as “ADA leave” in the same sense that the FMLA specifically grants time off to deal with medical issues. However, some disabled employees may be entitled to leave as an ADA reasonable accommodation.
A press conference called Thursday afternoon to announce a federal lawsuit against the town for not complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act turned into a sidewalk meeting between Mayor Joseph Sullivan and the four plaintiffs in the suit.
Queens College has agreed to spend at least $1 million to renovate its campus following a lawsuit from a disabled student.
In July 2015, Kathleen Ross, a Glendale resident and disabled student with cerebral palsy unable to walk, stand, or use her legs without assistance, filed a federal lawsuit against the college for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.