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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 New Year is prime time to take a look at your Code of Conduct and compliance policies both to consider whether you are up to date on all applicable requirements, but also so that you are fluent in your own processes and prepared to take prompt and compliant action when issues arise. Those policies likely already include a prohibition against unlawful harassment and a process for employees to report concerns about harassment or other…
Earlier this summer, in Beacom v. Oracle, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed summary judgment dismissing the SOX and Dodd Frank Act claims of an employee who was fired from his Vice President position after he says that he complained about changes in his employer’s financial forecasting. The Court upheld dismissal of that claim based on the standard that a SOX plaintiff must prove that he “subjectively believe[d] the employer’s…
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…
On November 18, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a decision dismissing an employment applicant’s claims that he had been retaliated against under the False Claims Act (FCA), Environmental Reorganization Act (ERA) and four other environmental statutes. In Vander Boegh v. Energy Solutions, Inc., 14-5047 (6th Cir. Nov. 18, 2014), the Court of Appeals considered for the second time allegations arising from the decision not to hire the Plaintiff. The…
Add another FMLA victory for an employer who terminated a plaintiff based on its “honest belief” that the plaintiff was misusing FMLA leave.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit affirmed summary judgment for the employer on the plaintiff’s FMLA interference claim. Dalpiaz v. Carbon County Utah (10th Cir. July 25, 2014). Following a motor vehicle accident, the plaintiff, a benefits administrator, went on leave. Despite her employer’s repeated requests that she submit…