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When Does Disability Leave Become an Unreasonable Accommodation?

by Martin Salcedo, Esq. - The Human Equation on 7/9/2014
court room

When has an employer done enough to avoid liability for disability discrimination? Though hard and fast rules are rare in employment discrimination cases, particularly those involving disabilities, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that employers are almost never required to provide more than 6 months leave to an employee with a disability.

The quality versus cost argument is nothing new especially when it comes to insurance. Consumers who pay less tend to get less, whether in the form of coverages, limits or financial security. And, when people choose cost over quality, it usually means they are uninformed about what they really need.

In Hwang v. Kansas State University, an assistant professor working under a one year employment contract was diagnosed with cancer. KSU gave Ms. Hwang a six-month paid leave of absence so she could get treatment. On the advice of her doctor, Ms. Hwang requested additional time off. According to Ms. Hwang, KSU refused her request and effectively terminated her employment.

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Warning: Whistleblowers Must be Handled with Care

by Martin Salcedo, Esq. - The Human Equation on 6/4/2014
judge's gavel

Though dealing with a disgruntled employee can be hard, various anti-retaliation protections make it even harder when an employee’s complaints or conduct is protected by law. A 2013 Congressional Report identified 40 different federal whistleblower and anti-retaliation laws, including:

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Reasonable Accommodation for Probationary Employees?

by The Human Equation, Inc. on 10/13/2010

Does the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) require me to provide a reasonable accommodation for a probationary employee who qualifies as an individual with a disability? More...

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The ADA Amendments Act: How Courts Are Interpreting the Amended Law

by The Human Equation, Inc. on 9/19/2010

The purpose of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is to generate and protect employment opportunities for individuals living with a disability. More...

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Categories: 2010

The Importance of Written Job Descriptions Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

by The Human Equation, Inc. on 11/16/2009

For the most part, the only time any real thought and effort goes into drafting a job description is when a job vacancy needs to be filled. More...

Written Job Descriptions under the ADAAA

by The Human Equation, Inc. on 1/14/2009

Does the passage of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, which went into effect on January 1, 2009, diminish the importance of having detailed, well-written job descriptions for the purpose of helping employers defend against claims brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? More...

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Categories: 2009

ADA Amendments Act of 2008

by The Human Equation, Inc. on 12/28/2008

Our company, which is subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act, is in the process of adjusting our internal policies and procedures to comply with the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). More...

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Categories: 2008

Driving a Major Life Activity Under the ADA?

by The Human Equation, Inc. on 11/20/2008

One of my employees was recently diagnosed with a form of epilepsy that makes it unsafe for him to drive his delivery truck. Does this employee’s inability to drive due to his epilepsy entitle him to protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act? More...

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ADA - Unreasonable Accommodation

by The Human Equation, Inc. on 11/13/2008

One of my employees has asked that an accommodation be made for the employee's legally recognized disability. More...

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Importance of Employee Performance Appraisals

by The Human Equation, Inc. on 9/18/2008

Some of my mid-level supervisors have a habit of hastily and inattentively preparing performance appraisals for employees they supervise. Might their carelessness eventually prove harmful if an employee terminated for cause files a discrimination lawsuit against my company? More...

Reasonable Accommodation for Probationary Employees?

by The Human Equation, Inc. on 6/27/2008

Does the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) require me to provide a reasonable accommodation for a probationary employee who qualifies as an individual with a disability? More...

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Association Discrimination under the ADA

by The Human Equation, Inc. on 6/16/2008

One of my employees has requested a modified work schedule to care for his wife, who was rendered paraplegic by an automobile accident. Am I required to provide such an accommodation under the "association discrimination" provision of the Americans with Disabilities Act?  More...

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Categories: 2008

Diabetes Under the ADA

by The Human Equation, Inc. on 5/30/2008

One of my employees has recently been diagnosed with diabetes. Does this employee automatically become entitled to protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act as a result? More...

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Categories: 2008

Evidence of Discrimination

by The Human Equation, Inc. on 5/22/2008

When terminating an employee, I try to prevent a negative or humiliating confrontation by giving a neutral reason for the termination rather than stating outright that the actual cause is the employee's poor performance. More...

ADA Training in the Workplace

by David Khan on 12/31/2003

In 1990, Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This federal legislation prohibits employment discrimination against individuals with disabilities, and all supervisors and managers responsible for hiring, firing, and accommodating employees should be trained in ADA compliance. More...

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Categories: 2004

The Human Equation's newsletters and publications are intended as an information source for the clients and friends of the firm. Their content should not be construed as legal advice, and readers should not act upon the information in these publications without professional guidance. Please note that newsletters and publications that are archived by The Human Equation are not updated after initial publication and may not contain the most current information available.

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