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A recent Connecticut Appellate Court case provides helpful reminders that: regular, reliable attendance can be an essential function of many jobs; and eliminating an essential job function is not a reasonable accommodation. Plaintiff in Barbabosa v. Board of Education of the Town of Manchester was a full-time, one-on-one paraprofessional for schoolchildren. The trial court held as a matter of law that regular attendance was an essential function of that job, which required direct interaction with…
The situation is not that uncommon. An employer learns of a performance incident and the employee involved promptly requests FMLA leave. The employer then must decide how to address the incident while avoiding the risk of an FMLA or ADA claim. Will the law protect an employer that provides the employee FMLA leave while investigating the misconduct allegations against that employee? Such employer efforts were upheld in the Fourth Circuit’s decision dismissing FMLA and ADA…