The much-anticipated surge of COVID-19 pandemic-related litigation has begun. As the pandemic continues to lay siege to the United States economy, claimants’ lawyers and government agencies have begun setting their sights on employers. In early May, we predicted an uptick in a variety of claims, including those relating to workplace safety, discrimination in furlough and…

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Claims can take a toll on an employer’s reputation, finances, culture and more — not to mention the effect on employees directly involved. While the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported a drop in charges received last year, the more than 72,000 filed show that discrimination and harassment complaints are still very much a concern for employers.…

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The U.S. Senate this week confirmed the nominations by Republicans of three commissioners for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Keith E. Sonderling, deputy administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, was confirmed Sept. 22 with a term that expires July 1, 2024 with a vote of 52-41. Sonderling was nominated in July 2019,…

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The post-pandemic landscape may be a very different one, especially with respect to leave and accommodations, experts are saying. It’s a familiar scene for anyone who has spent time in an office: Leadership calls an all-hands meeting and droves of employees pile into the main conference room, dragging in chairs and getting cozy. But COVID-19…

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As the ADA approaches its 30th anniversary, we are taking a close look at employment issues affecting workers with disabilities. Stay tuned for related stories on recruiting, accommodations and more. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA prohibits a covered entity from discriminating against a qualified individual on the basis of disability in regard to employee compensation…

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Here is our second in a series of five columns dedicated to laying out the basics of federal employment laws. The ADA protects employees and applicants with disabilities from discrimination in the workplace, and employers must train managers to properly implement its requirements. Let’s start with a scenario. An ice cream parlor employee, whom we’ll…

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As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit found, an employee must engage in the reasonable accommodation process and must provide medical documentation that actually supports his reasonable accommodation request. In Tchankpa v. Ascena Retail Group, Inc., an employee with a shoulder injury demanded to work from home. The employer sought medical documentation, which…

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found that the employer offered a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s religious need, even though he argued the transfer offer was not reasonable. In Horvath v. City of Leander, a firefighter sought an exemption from the required TDAP vaccine on religious grounds. The city offered him two accommodations…

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As human resources consultants, we see all sorts of reasons for businesses deciding to terminate employees, ranging from gross misconduct to plant closures. But there is one scenario that comes up from time to time that always strikes me as a particularly unfortunate loss of talent – when a good employee gets promoted into a…

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A sales associate at a Dollar General store who asked how to request leave and was told by text that no leave was available could proceed with her Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) failure-to-accommodate claim, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. The plaintiff was a lead sales associate at a Dollar General store…

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