Plenty of people in Wisconsin have a disability but are still able to work. The Americans with Disabilities Act serves to protect citizens with disabilities from discrimination. Amendments to the act were passed in 2009 to offer even broader protections.
Wisconsin has not entered the medical marijuana fray, yet, but lawmakers here may want to take note of a recent development. A federal appeals court has declined to rule that the use of medical marijuana by severely disabled persons was protected by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. The law protects disabled people in Wisconsin and throughout the nation against discrimination in employment, public accommodations, government programs and other important areas.
A motor carrier company in Indiana, Celadon Trucking Services, Inc., was sued by the EEOC for allegedly requiring applicants to submit to physical examinations, in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA"). See EEOC v. Celadon Trucking Services, Inc., Cause No. 1:12-cv-0275-SEB-TAB. The problem, according to the EEOC, is not that Celadon required applicants to undergo a pre-employment physical examination, but that it did so before giving the applicants a conditional offer of employment.
The director of an animal shelter has brought a discrimination and a wrongful discharge lawsuit against his employer after he took medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to treat a serious medical condition. Under the FMLA, an employee who leaves his job for a medical reason is entitled to return to the same or an equivalent position.
On May 25, 2011, the EEOC filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against Meffert Oil Company, Inc., which owns and operates BP One Stop stores in Waunakee, Wisconsin. The EEOC sued the company for allegedly firing an employee because of her disabilities. The employee at issue, who suffers from interstitial familial pulmonary fibrosis and panic attacks, alleges that the Defendant fired her for leaving work to seek medical attention for her disabilities.
National Waste Removal Firm IESI recently settled a disability discrimination case brought by the EEOC on behalf of one its former employees. Truck driver Ronald Harper lost his job when his new supervisor found out that he's dyslexic. Dyslexia is a learning disability that causes sufferers to inappropriately or unsuccessfully interpret graphic symbols when reading. Jay Leno often famously and openly discusses his own dyslexia in the media.