Reasonable Accommodations

This country’s relationship with cannabis is a complicated one, and as is often the case in complicated matters, words matter. Marijuana and hemp are different strains of the Cannabis sativa L plant. So, “cannabis” is a scientific term, not a legal one.

Although the Controlled Substances Act historically made no distinction between marijuana and hemp

Another Type of COVID Long Haul—Future Discrimination Suits?We’ve been talking a lot about COVID-19 lately and, in particular, the various regulations and guidance that have come out regarding an employer’s day-to-day responsibilities: Can you require employees to take the vaccine? What kinds of medical questions can I ask my employees? Should employees still wear masks? How does COVID-19-related leave work? What do

Something to Talk About: Fifth Circuit Reminds Us to Engage in the Interactive ProcessThe United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently reiterated the importance of engaging in the interactive process with employees seeking disability accommodations. This case serves as a helpful reminder, especially in the post-COVID-19 work-from-home era, that engaging in meaningful, collaborative conversations with your employees who seek accommodations is best for everyone.

Background

Tennessee’s New ‘Pregnant Workers Fairness Act’ Requires Employers to Reasonably Accommodate Pregnant EmployeesThere is a new law for Tennessee employers. As of October 1, 2020, those of you with employees in Tennessee must reasonably accommodate pregnant employees under the state’s new “Pregnant Workers Fairness Act” or else face potential civil liability.

New Obligations and Cause of Action

Under the act, which applies to employers with 15

Don’t Dawdle in USERRA’s World: Fourth Circuit Affirms USERRA Violation for Delayed ReemploymentHow long do you have to reinstate an employee following military leave? In Harwood v. American Airlines, the Fourth Circuit found that a delay of six or eight weeks was too long. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act (USERRA) says employers must reinstate an employee returning from military leave and if, as in

Consider the Circumstances: What to Expecting When You’re Expecting Employees to Return to Work and They RefuseAs states begin to ease COVID-19 restrictions and individuals start to determine their own levels of acceptable risk, employers face yet another set of issues related to getting employees back to work. After many of you quickly pivoted to remote work to comply with stay-at-home orders, you are now reverse-engineering solutions to a new problem:

Crosstown Traffic! Facts Surrounding Employee’s ADA/FMLA Request to Avoid Bad Traffic Not Enough Not all requests for accommodation or FMLA leave will fit into neat boxes like “pregnancy” or “knee surgery.” Because the ADA definition of a disability includes any impairment that affects a major life function, employers are starting to see some more creative requests around the margins. In Trautman v. Time Warner Cable Texas, LLC,

I Need My Squirrel at My Desk:  A Reminder about Service Animals vs. Emotional Support AnimalsMany people chuckled when they read the news story about the woman who attempted to bring her “emotional support squirrel” on a Frontier Airlines Flight early in October. However, it is hard not to notice the proliferation of “emotional support animals” — usually dogs or cats, but sometimes turkeys or even spiders. As an employer,

3 Steps to Figuring Out ADA Reasonable Accommodations for Mental IllnessWhat do you do when an employee discloses that he or she is stressed out and needs a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, but the requested accommodation strikes you as unreasonable? If you are reading this and thinking “that won’t happen to me—all of my employees are well-adjusted,” think again. The experts