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Private Investigator’s Report Supports “Honest Suspicion” of FMLA Misuse

An employer had an ”honest suspicion” that an employee was not using FMLA for its intended purpose based in part on the report of a private investigator, according to the Seventh Circuit.  The Court affirmed summary judgment for the employer. Scruggs v. Carrier Corporation. (7th Cir. August 3, 2012). The employer had hired the investigator … Continue reading Private Investigator’s Report Supports “Honest Suspicion” of FMLA Misuse
August 23, 2012

Are Weeks “Off” in a Rotational Schedule Counted in Calculating FMLA Leave?

When an employee works a “rotational” schedule—typically weeks “on” followed by weeks “off”—do the “off” weeks count when calculating FMLA leave? An Oklahoma federal court held that an employer did not violate the FMLA by counting scheduled weeks off as FMLA leave. Murphy v. John Christner Trucking (D. Ok. Aug. 15, 2012). In 2010, an Alaska federal … Continue reading Are Weeks “Off” in a Rotational Schedule Counted in Calculating FMLA Leave?
August 18, 2012

It Depends on Your Definition of “Has”: Connecticut Appellate Court Rejects State Law “Perceived Disability” Claim.

The Connecticut law prohibiting discrimination against an individual who has a “physical disability” does not create a cause of action for discrimination by someone who does not have, but is perceived to have, a physical disability, according to the Connecticut Appellate Court. Desrosiers v. Diageo (Aug 14, 2012).  The Court noted that the state law … Continue reading It Depends on Your Definition of “Has”: Connecticut Appellate Court Rejects State Law “Perceived Disability” Claim.
August 15, 2012

Employer Must Reduce Performance Standards to Take FMLA Absences into Account

While the FMLA does not require an employer to reduce its performance standards when an employee is actually on the job, the FMLA “can require that performance standards be adjusted to avoid penalizing an employee for being absent during FMLA-protected leave,” according to the United States Court of  Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Pagel v … Continue reading Employer Must Reduce Performance Standards to Take FMLA Absences into Account
August 13, 2012

Running Medical Errands is Not “Treatment” Under the FMLA

An employee’s taking a morning off to make an unannounced visit to his physician’s office to get a prescription refill and confirm that referral paperwork for an appointment that afternoon had been completed was not protected by the FMLA because the visit was not “treatment” for a serious health condition, the Seventh Circuit has held. … Continue reading Running Medical Errands is Not “Treatment” Under the FMLA
July 23, 2012

Working Through the Workplace Haze from Connecticut’s New Medical Marijuana Law

 Under a new Connecticut law, a “qualifying patient” with a “debilitating medical condition” may obtain a supply of marijuana from a licensed dispensary to alleviate symptoms or effects of such symptoms.  The statute lists eleven “debilitating medical conditions” and gives the Department of Consumer Protection the ability to add others. The act also gives guidance to address the … Continue reading Working Through the Workplace Haze from Connecticut’s New Medical Marijuana Law
June 27, 2012

Oktoberfest Jaunt Leads to Disability Fraud Firing

The Sixth Circuit has affirmed summary judgment for an employer who terminated an employee on FMLA leave based on its “honest belief” that the employee had “over-reported” his restrictions to avoid doing light duty work. Seeger v. Cincinnati Bell Telephone, (6th Cir. May 8, 2012). Under the labor contract, an employee on otherwise unpaid FMLA … Continue reading Oktoberfest Jaunt Leads to Disability Fraud Firing
June 3, 2012

No ADA Protection for Medical Marijuana Users

The Ninth Circuit ruled today in James v. City of Costa Mesa, that the Americans with Disabilities Act does not protect medical marijuana users who claim they are subject to discrimination on the basis of their marijuana use. The Court concluded that doctor-recommended marijuana use permitted by state law, but prohibited by federal law, is an … Continue reading No ADA Protection for Medical Marijuana Users
May 21, 2012

EEOC Does Not Issue ADA Attendance Guidance, Yet Again

The extent of an employer’s obligation to extend leave and excuse absences as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA is perhaps the most vexing ADA issue for employers. In June 2011, the EEOC held a public hearing on leave as a reasonable accommodation, and suggested it might issue guidance on the topic in 2011. When … Continue reading EEOC Does Not Issue ADA Attendance Guidance, Yet Again
April 27, 2012

Mammography Tech with Epilepsy Not Qualified under ADA and a Direct Threat of Harm

An ADAAA “rule of construction” is that an episodic impairment is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active. A Missouri federal district court has held that whether an employee with an episodic impairment is a qualified individual with a disability is also determined when the impairment is active.  The court … Continue reading Mammography Tech with Epilepsy Not Qualified under ADA and a Direct Threat of Harm
April 23, 2012

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