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Disabilities

Classification of Obesity as a Disease Has Huge Employment Law Implications

June 20, 2013
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Conventional wisdom has been that normal, run-of-the-mill obesity, unlinked to an underlying medical condition such as diabetes, is not a disability protected from discrimination by the Americans with Disabilities Act. This decision by the AMA, however, will likely flip that conventional wisdom on its head.
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Patriots Cutting Diabetic Player Raises Serious ADA Issues

May 16, 2013
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It is an understatement to characterize this termination—undertaken without any apparent consideration of whether the team could accommodate the diabetes—as high risk. It would not surprise me in the least if, given the high profile nature of this employment decision, the EEOC takes up Kyle Love's cause to further its mission of disability-rights awareness.
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EEOC Lands Its Largest Settlement Ever

May 6, 2013
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I never thought I'd read about a case in which I could say to myself, “A $240 million jury verdict doesn't seem all that out of whack.” Then I read about the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's recent $240 million jury verdict against Henry's Turkey Service. The agency alleged that the farm subjected its 32 mentally disabled workers to decades of abuse.
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Bald Is Beautiful … Unless You're a Hooters Waitress After Brain Surgery

April 10, 2013
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The insensitivity of Hooters's reaction to this situation is easy to spot. Just because Hooters acted insensitively, however, does not mean that it acted illegally. Indeed, whether the wig requirement discriminated against Sandra Lupo is a tricky question.
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Can You Hear Me Now? Unilateral Deafness Is Not an ADA Disability

April 3, 2013
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This case is significant because it proves the exception—that a subset of diagnosed medical conditions exists that does not qualify as an ADA-protected disability.
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Accommodating Disabled Job Applicants is No Game

March 20, 2013
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If a job applicant needs an accommodation to complete the interview process, and it does not impose an undue burden, provide it. If it turns out that someone cannot perform the essential functions of the job even with an accommodation, you are within your rights to deny employment. You cannot make that determination, however, unless you consider them for the job first.
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What Do You Do If You Doubt an Employee's Disability?

March 12, 2013
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I hope that I don't have to lecture any of my readers about what is wrong about denying accommodations and firing disabled employees. What rights do you have, however, if you doubt the legitimacy of an employee's claimed disability?
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The CYA Report: Cancer and Careers

March 11, 2013
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The CYA Report podcast is a partnership between Workforce and Fistful of Talent. In this edition, Workforce Senior Writer Rita Pyrillis discusses her March cover story on how companies can support cancer Survivors in the workplace while managing costs. Listen to the podcast below.
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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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