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Disabilities

Beware Saying too Much When Engaging in Pre-Suit Settlement Negotiations

March 5, 2013
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If you have to discuss the merits of the case with the employee's lawyer, either do so over the phone or only put in writing what you live with a judge or jury considering.
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Is an Employer Obligated to Provide Light Duty to an Employee Returning From FMLA Leave?

March 4, 2013
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Before denying light duty to an employee returning from FMLA leave, you must consider whether the ADA requires the light duty as a reasonable accommodation. If you have light duty available, and do not have to create a light duty position to accommodate the employee, the ADA will likely require the consideration of temporary light duty as a reasonable accommodation.
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How Long Is Too Long for an Unpaid Medical Leave of Absence? Not Two Weeks and a Day

February 27, 2013
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Think long and hard before you deny a request for unpaid time off for an employee's medical issue, and, when in doubt, call your employment counsel for a sanity check.
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Obsessing (Compulsively) Over Reasonable Accommodations

February 19, 2013
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You need to have a dialogue with an employee about reasonable accommodations. Without opening the channels of communication, you will never know what is feasible. More importantly, without the dialogue, you probably have not satisfied your obligations under the ADA.
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Pre-existing Perspective: New York Court Rules Against Reimbursing Employer

February 11, 2013
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A New York Appellate court ruled that an injured worker's diabetes and obesity do not qualify as pre-existing conditions.
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Requests for Unpaid Medical Leaves Should Be Stamped, 'Handle With Care'

January 22, 2013
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If you are granting a leave to an employee as an accommodation, your best defense to a potential Americans with Disabilities Act claim is to have an open dialogue with the employee about a return date, and prepare to be flexible (to a point). Then, when the employee asks for “one more extension” to his or her leave of absence, no one will fault you as an unreasonable ogre if you decline.
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Say It Ain't So: Court Holds an Employer Does Not Have to Accommodate a Pregnant Employee

January 17, 2013
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Handling accommodation requests by pregnant employees is a thorny area of the law. My recommendation is instead of trying to sort through these issues for yourself, you contact your employment counsel before denying an accommodation request made a pregnant employee.
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Department of Labor Lists Considerations for Adult Child Care FMLA Leave Requests

January 16, 2013
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The U.S. Department of Labor has issued an “administrator's interpretation” of factors an employer must consider when an employee requests leave to care for an adult child under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
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Can You Hear Me Now? Employer Cannot Reject Disabled Employee Without Individualized Inquiry of the Ability to Do the Job

January 15, 2013
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If your failing to engage in this individualized inquiry, it will look like you are making the employment decision based on stereotypes and generalizations, which the Americans with Disabilities Act is supposed to rid from the workplace. That perception will not bode well for your defense of an ADA lawsuit.
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Internet-Use Disorder: The Newest Disability?

January 11, 2013
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If Internet addiction is a psychiatric disorder, then employees who suffer from it may be protected by the ADA. This development has potentially significant implications for your workplace.
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