When we hear the word "disability," we tend to think of disabilities that are obvious. We know that a person in a wheelchair or a person with a white cane has a disability. There are, though, less obvious types of disability that we may not notice right away: mood disorders or chronic diseases, for example. Congress understood this when crafting the Americans with Disabilities Act.
A newspaper recently agreed to pay a disabled employee $150,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit. A commercial print manager for the Jackson Sun took a medical leave of absence from work related to a spinal surgery and subsequent permanent spinal cord damage. Following his return to work, and after only one week back on the job, the print manager was fired. An EEOC press release alleges that Jackson Sun did not make a good-faith effort to accommodate the print manager's disability.
Working with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a former library services director has filed a lawsuit against her employer after being fired in alleged violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and age discrimination laws. After working at a county library district for seven years, she was diagnosed with cancer and had to be hospitalized after undergoing surgery.
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.
We are continuing our discussion of a 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision. A woman claimed that her former employer fired her at least in part because her medical condition required her to use a wheelchair. A decision like that would have been a violation of 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.
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.
A postal worker was fired from his job for his prolonged period of absence. However, the former employee claims that it was a case of discrimination. The case addresses the definition of disability and return to work agreements.
A three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a decision recently that critics say upholds a precedent of the court while it runs counter to a U.S. Supreme Court decision. The case involves the Americans with Disabilities Act and the right of an employee who becomes disabled to a new position within the company. This is just one of many cases that discuss how far an employer must go to provide a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.
We are continuing our discussion of a recent decision handed down from a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The decision has reignited a debate between the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the 7th Circuit, which includes Wisconsin -- a debate that involves other circuits and the U.S. Supreme Court. The issue is whether the Americans with Disabilities Act requires an employer to reassign a worker who has become disabled; the reassignment would be considered a reasonable accommodation.