We are wrapping up our discussion of a 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that the majority said would bring the circuit into line with the other federal appeals courts. It will not, according to critics. The decision adds another variation to the interpretation of what lawyers refer to as causation language in the Americans with Disabilities Act.
When the federal circuit courts of appeal disagree on the interpretation of a federal law, a couple of things can happen. At times, the U.S. Supreme Court can settle the matter by hearing a case and rendering a decision. Another possibility is that the circuits can slowly align over time, agreeing one by one that a particular interpretation makes more sense.
Employees who work at small companies may sometimes fall outside of federal labor law protection. The story of one accountant who worked at a small company fell outside of the protections of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Unfortunately, the accountant and husband was fired from his position when he told his employer that his wife had cancer and that he would like to adjust his hours accordingly.