Connecticut Employment Law Blog Insight on Labor & Employment Developments for Connecticut Businesses

Tag Archives: disability

Could Telecommuting Be Deemed a “Reasonable Accommodation” Under the ADA?

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Wage & Hour

My colleague, Gabe Jiran, (go read his impressive background here, I’ll wait) recently gave a presentation on telecommuting and I asked Gabe to share his thoughts on a notable topic that came up for discussion there.  Thus, in this post, Gabe discusses whether telecommuting could be a “reasonable accommodation.” With today’s technology, employees seem to… Continue Reading

Spiderweb Delivery? Is One Year Enough for a Leave of Absence for a Disabled Employee?

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Class Actions, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center

You have a disabled employee out of leave for 180 days.  Your policy says that employees may be terminated after the end of 180 days. So, on day 181, can you fire the employee? Today, my colleague Christopher Parkin tackles that difficult question in a recent ADA case brought by the EEOC against a very big… Continue Reading

Continuing to Challenge Whether An Employee Has a “Disability” Under ADAAA

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Laws and Regulations, Litigation

When the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA) passed Congress in 2008 (remember when Congress used to pass employment laws??), one of the most talked about changes was that Congress declared that the question of whether an individual’s impairment was a “disability” should not require “extensive analysis.” It was thought by some at the time,… Continue Reading

Dazed and Confused About Medical Marijuana in the Workplace? Dude, It’s Just Starting

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center, Wage & Hour

The news this week that Connecticut has given its approval to four medical marijuana growers in Simsbury, West Haven, Portland, and Watertown, inches the state that much closer to full implementation of the medical marijuana law that was passed in 2012. The state also reported that over 1600 individuals in Connecticut have been certified by… Continue Reading

Interactive Process is Two-Way Street, Appellate Court Affirms

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation

The Connecticut Appellate Court will officially release an opinion next week that reaffirms that the interactive process required by both the Americans with Disabilities Act and the state law equivalent to discuss a reasonable accommodation to a disability, requires the employee to engage in the process as well. The case, Festa v. Board of Education,… Continue Reading

Revisions to CHRO-Related Statutes Under Consideration Include Damages for Emotional Distress

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Highlight, Legislative Developments

Whenever someone tells you that a proposed bill “clarifies” something or “simplifies” existing law, you should view such talk with a dose of healthy skepticism. Indeed, viewing the written testimony of CHRO Executive Director Robert Brothers in support of Senate Bill 1164, you could be left with the impression that the changes being proposed to the state’s anti-discrimination… Continue Reading

Appellate Court: Tenured Teachers May be Terminated for “Disability” Without Violating CFEPA

Posted in Highlight, Litigation

The Connecticut Appellate Court yesterday released two notable employment law decisions. They won’t become “official” until April 30, 2013, so you have some time to digest them.  I’ll cover one today and leave the other for a future post (though if you’re really curious you can read it here.) To me, the more interesting of… Continue Reading

Calling a Co-Worker “Stupid” Not Enough to Prove “Disability”, Court Says

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

With the changes to the ADA laws a few years back broadening the definition of a “disability”, there was some speculation (including on this blog) that we would not see very many instances where a court would throw out an ADA claim on the grounds that the employee could not prove he had a disability…. Continue Reading

Connecticut’s “Reasonable Leave of Absence” for Disability Resulting from Pregnancy

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Laws and Regulations, Uncategorized

Last week, Attorney Robin Shea of Employment & Labor Insider proposed 10 rules of etiquette that “will save you from a pregnancy discrimination suit”.  Rule No. 1? Pregnancy is always good news.  Always. Always. Always. If you haven’t read it, I’ll wait. There are lots of rules regarding pregnancy that may come into play including FMLA,… Continue Reading

Does Cabbie’s Fear of Dogs Trump Requirement to Allow Service Dogs?

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation

A cab driver, who claims he suffers from cynophobia (a fear of dogs) and who refused to pick up a blind customer with a service dog, has filed a federal lawsuit against his employer for discrimination on account of his disability after he was fired.  The suit of Ahmad v. Yellow Cab Co., which was filed… Continue Reading

Court Rejects Perceived Disability Claim

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

While I’m out at the ABA House of Delegates meeting (and will provide an update on that later on), the Connecticut Appellate Court today ruled that Connecticut’s anti-discrimination laws do not cover a “perceived disability” claim. What does that mean? Under federal law, an employer who regards an employee as having a disability is prohibited… Continue Reading

With DSM-5 on the Way, Is It Time to Update Definition of “Mental Disability”?

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Legislative Developments

In May 2013, a fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is expected to be published.  It is widely anticipated in the mental health field. What is the DSM-5 all about? DSM is published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and contains descriptions, symptoms, and other criteria for diagnosing mental disorders…. Continue Reading

FAQ on Applying Performance Standards to Employees with Disabilities

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center

At the core of every employment relationship is the expectation that the employee will perform the job satisfactorily. But what happens to those performance expectations when an employee has a disability? As the federal government has acknowledged, The Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits “employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities, generally do[es] not impinge… Continue Reading

Court: No Injury by Employer = No Standing = No Case

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

The running joke by employment lawyers is that even though Connecticut is an at-will employment state, employees can sue their employers at any time for any reason or no reason at all.  (I’ll wait while you laugh groan.) The joke touches on the perception by employers that employees can seemingly file the most frivolous of… Continue Reading

Regarding Employee as “Paranoid” and “Irrational” Not Enough To Satisfy ADA (at least pre-ADAAA)

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

You’ve seen a lot on this blog about how the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) may have a significant impact on how employment discrimination cases proceed. We haven’t had many cases yet to judge that on because the Act was not retroactive, but a case recently decided in Connecticut District Court gives us some insight into… Continue Reading

Impairments That Merely Affect Major Life Activities Not Covered by ADA, Says Federal Court

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

 Today, my colleague Jonathan Orleans makes a return engagement to the blog, updating us on a decision released by the District Court of Connecticut yesterday that has relevance to various ADA cases in the state.  The Defendant was successfully represented by another colleague of mine here at the firm, Marcy Stovall.   A decision issued yesterday… Continue Reading

EEOC Reports Record Number of Discrimination Claims for 2008; Up 15 Percent from 2007

Posted in CHRO & EEOC

Record numbers of discrimination complaints were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, according to a MSNBC column: Discrimination claims filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission jumped 15 percent in fiscal 2008 to 95,402 — the highest level since the agency opened in 1965, said spokesman David Grinberg. That is up from 82,792 claims filed… Continue Reading

What Employers Need to Know About the ADA Amendments Act of 2008

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations

President Bush’s signature is expected any day now on the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (click for my prior posts here), which represent some of the most important changes to federal employment laws in over a decade.  For employers in Connecticut, there is going to need to be some synthesis with Connecticut’s anti-discrimination laws so employers should… Continue Reading

BREAKING NEWS: House Passes ADA Amendments Act; Bill Goes To President for Signature

Posted in Legislative Developments

This afternoon, the U.S. House of Representatives approved by voice vote, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (S.3406), with the amendments made by the U.S. Senate last week.  I’ve recapped the details before in prior posts.  Reuters has the details of today’s House action in. Numerous groups and politicians released press releases this afternoon praising the… Continue Reading

ABA LABOR & EMPLOYMENT CONF.: Senate Passes ADA Amendments Act and EEOC Attorney Comments

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Legislative Developments

Late last week, the Senate finally passed the compromise version of the ADA Amendments Act, (S.3406, which is available here) which I’ve covered before. The bill needs to be reconciled with the House version, but final passage and approval by President Bush is now expected this month. Other blogs have very adeptly recapped the significant changes… Continue Reading

When Did the Term “Intellectual Disability” Become an Acceptable Substitute for “Mental Retardation”?

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance

In reading the Connecticut Judicial Branch’s new strategic plan (which overall, is a very thorough and useful document), I was struck by its persistent usage of the term "intellectual disability."  Indeed, section I.3 of the Plan indicates that the judicial branch will work with the legislature to revise laws that hamper participation by those with… Continue Reading

Curry v. Allan S. Goodman, Inc. – The Employee’s Perspective

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

I’ve returned from vacation today with hundreds of e-mails to dig through and about 3000 posts in various RSS feeds. But one e-mail I received relating to the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision earlier this month in Curry v. Allan S. Goodman, bears some immediate discussion. The comments are from Attorney Richard Hayber, the attorney representing the employee… Continue Reading

Curry v. Allan S. Goodman Part V – Do Employers Now Need to Accommodate Mental Disorders and Learning Disabilities?

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

Reading the Connecticut Supreme Court case of Curry v. Allan S. Goodman, Inc. decided last week,  I’m struck by how many questions the decision seems to raise — and how many are left unanswered. I’ve discussed the case and some questions it raises before, most recently here.  The case appears to stand for the proposition that… Continue Reading

Curry v. Allan S. Goodman, Inc. Part III – Duty to Engage in “Interactive Process” Found in Connecticut Law

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

In prior posts here and here, I’ve discussed an important new Connecticut Supreme Court case released this week, Curry v. Allan S. Goodman, Inc. and the effect it has on providing disabled employees with "reasonable accommodation". However, the Supreme Court’s decision goes beyond that. The Court also find that state law imposes a duty on employers… Continue Reading