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By Camille Toney on August 26, 2016

The Department of Justice recently released its final rule extending coverage of the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) to Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This final rule, which takes effect Oct. 11, 2016, updates those titles to include the ADAAA.

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By Lauren Daming on June 22, 2016 at 2:15 PM

Following new rules issued on employer wellness programs, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on June 16 released an example of how employers should communicate with their employees about the medical information those programs obtain.

In May, the EEOC issued final rules clarifying that Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) allow employers to use incentives to encourage participation in wellness programs that include disability-related inquiries and/or medical examinations as long as the programs are voluntary and the incentives do not exceed certain limits. Now, the EEOC has provided an example of how employers that offer these wellness programs may notify their employees about the specifics.

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By Lauren Daming on May 17, 2016 at 1:14 PM

On May 16, 2016 the EEOC issued final rules amending the regulations and interpretive guidance implementing Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) with respect to employer wellness programs. These changes clarify that employers may use incentives to encourage participation in wellness programs that include disability-related inquiries and/or medical examinations as long as the programs are voluntary and the incentives do not exceed certain limits. Additionally, the rules confirm that employers may provide incentives when employees’ spouses—but not children—provide certain health information.

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By Kevin McLaughlin, T. Christopher Bailey on April 11, 2016 at 8:51 AM

A railway company and the business groups that supported its position scored a victory April 5 with the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision that obesity is not a covered condition under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ruling is the latest to support the position that general obesity, without an underlying medical cause, does not warrant protection under the ADA.

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By Amy Blaisdell, Lauren Daming, T. Christopher Bailey on March 26, 2015 at 10:43 AM

5388576411_700edd78b2By a 6-3 majority, the Supreme Court created a potentially new standard by which employers’ accommodations given or denied to pregnant women will be judged under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”).

In Young v. UPS, the plaintiff, Peggy Young, was deemed unable to work her part-time driver position once her physician placed her on a 20-pound lifting restriction. Young was placed on an unpaid leave, and returned to work after the birth of her child; however, Young subsequently filed a lawsuit against UPS alleging the company violated the PDA in refusing to accommodate her pregnancy-related lifting restriction and not assigning her to a light duty position. 

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By Amy Blaisdell on December 31, 2014 at 1:21 PM

What is the Illinois Pregnancy Fairness Law?

Pregnancy_Posting_redoEffective January 1, 2015, the Illinois Pregnancy Fairness Law provides workplace protections to all expectant mothers, regardless of an employer’s size. The Illinois Pregnancy Fairness Law amends the Illinois Human Rights Act, adding “pregnancy” as a protected class under state law. “Pregnancy” is defined broadly to mean “pregnancy, childbirth, or other medical or common conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.” Accordingly, effective 1/1/15, the IHRA prohibits discrimination on the basis of “pregnancy” against applicants and employees and also requires employers to provide accommodations to expectant mothers to enable them to perform the job the job held or sought unless the employer can establishing that doing so would cause an undue hardship on the ordinary operation of the business. The Illinois law also prohibits retaliation against individuals who exercise their right to an accommodation under the law.

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By Amy Blaisdell, Camille Toney on June 28, 2013 at 7:21 PM

Reassignment_LaborBlogLast month the United States Supreme Court refused to resolve the circuit split that has evolved over the issue of whether there is an affirmative duty under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") to accommodate a disabled individual through reassignment to another vacant job, without regard to whether there is a more qualified applicant for the same job. (The ADA prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against individuals with disabilities and requires employers to engage in an interactive process with employees and applicants to determine whether there is a reasonable accommodation that will enable an employee to perform the job held or desired.)

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By Amy Blaisdell on May 14, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Employee using time clock to punching in/out of workLate last year the Seventh Circuit reversed prior precedent and held that an associate who is minimally qualified must be reassigned to a vacant position as a reasonable accommodation in EEOC v. United Airlines, Inc.. 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18804 (7th Cir. 2012). That decision, coupled with the EEOC's focus on fixed-leave policies as violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), has caused much angst among employers as they struggle to square lean staffing models with the ADA’s duty to accommodate.

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