Disability, Leave & Health Management Blog

Offering Practical Guidance to Employers

We know that the ADAAA (Amendments Act of 2008) substantially altered the landscape for review of claims asserting a disability. But are employees still required to show some sort of disorder or impairment to state a claim? Is morbid obesity an impairment even if it is not tied to any underlying disorder? A case pending before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals is set to decide whether obesity is an impairment in and of itself…
Recent decisions from the Second, Fifth, and Eighth Circuit Courts of Appeals exemplify the growing consensus amongst courts that even employees with a disability are generally required to comply with company attendance policies.  While employers may need to provide leave as a reasonable accommodation, many courts generally agree that regular, reliable attendance is an essential function of most jobs within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). In Trautman v. Time Warner Cable
It’s a new year, and California SDI benefits will be increasing. The SDI withholding rate continues to be 1.0% of wages. But, the taxable wage limit will increase from $114,967 to $118,371. For new SDI claims (whether for short-term disability benefits or paid family leave benefits) the maximum weekly benefit will increase from $1,216 to $1,252 a week. Employees who allow employees to integrate paid leave hours with SDI benefit to receive the equivalent of…
As discussed in a prior blog post, Michigan joined other states with paid sick leave laws on September 5, 2018, enacting the Earned Sick Time Act. Now, amidst political controversy, the Earned Sick Time Act (which never became effective) has been amended and renamed the Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act. The law requires employers in Michigan to provide their employees with accrued paid medical leave to use for their own or their family…
“What did I do wrong?” and “Am I doing this correctly?” are frequent questions from clients regarding FMLA administration. This is the nineteenth in a series highlighting some of the more common mistakes employers can inadvertently make regarding FMLA administration. Not carefully analyzing whether an employee is eligible for FMLA leave due to inpatient care Employers commonly deal with FMLA leaves under the “continuing treatment” prong of the definition of a serious health condition, which…
As we are in the heart of the holiday season, to avoid an unwanted gift from the Department of Labor, employers should ensure that they properly administer FMLA leaves taken during company holidays. Determining whether company holidays count towards an employee’s FMLA entitlement depends on whether the employee takes leave for an entire week or on a lesser intermittent or reduced schedule basis. When a holiday occurs within a week in which an employee takes…
On November 16, 2018, the Austin-based 3rd Court of Appeals declared Austin’s paid sick and safe leave ordinance unconstitutional. Specifically, the court held the ordinance is preempted by the Texas Minimum Wage Act and is, therefore, unconstitutional. The Austin ordinance has been under attack since its inception. The Travis County District Court originally denied a temporary injunction against the ordinance. The ordinance (which was scheduled to take effect October 1, 2018) was then temporarily blocked by…
Just a few months ago, we wrote about a case where a federal district court denied summary judgment to an employer who had asserted that attendance at work was an essential job function. The Court held that although regular attendance at work was set out in the job description, that was not enough to obtain summary judgment. In a slight twist, today we discuss a case in which the court focused on the adequacy of…
The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) includes within its definition of “discriminate,” an employer’s failure to provide a reasonable accommodation to a qualified individual with a disability.  But, is a failure to accommodate standing alone—absent an adverse employment action—enough to establish an ADA failure-to-accommodate claim?  For example, if an employer fails to accommodate a wheelchair-bound employee by refusing to move her office a few feet closer to the entrance, has the employer violated the ADA? …