Employment Law News: Unions and Part-Time Work Under the ADA

Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Plus Share this Page

Below, Tara Motheral, HR Advisor at ERC, discusses two recent cases, including what happened in each case and what the key takeaway is for each case that may impact your business:

First case discussed:

Rizo v. Yovino, No. 16-15372, (9th Cir. April 9, 2018). Click here to read the full case.

Second case discussed: 

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc.,  No. 16-2424, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 5720 (6th Cir. Mar. 7, 2018) Click here to read the full case. 


Read this article...

6 Frequently Asked Questions about Absence Management

Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Plus Share this Page

6 Frequently Asked Questions about Absence Management

Absence management comes in many different shapes and sizes. Oftentimes issues arise in the workplace regarding absence management or FMLA and the intricate compliance laws and requirements may make handling the issue more complicated than expected. ERC’s Help Desk compiled a list of frequently asked questions we receive from our local members and with the help of CareWorks, here’s the answers to those questions:
Read this article...

Issue 3: How Would Marijuana Legalization Affect Employers?

Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Plus Share this Page

Issue 3: How Would Marijuana Legalization Affect Employers?

On November 3, 2015 Ohioans will make their way to the ballots and have the option to vote yes or no on Issue 3. If passed, Issue 3 would legalize the medical and recreational sale and use of marijuana in the state of Ohio. But what does it mean for employers?

We spoke with Jon Hyman, Partner at Meyers Roman Friedberg and Lewis, and ERC Partner, about what employers should be thinking about in case issue 3 does pass and how to prepare for its arrival.
Read this article...

3 Facts about Measles and the Workplace

Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Plus Share this Page

3 Facts about Measles and the Workplace

In 2015, measles was rising health concern in the country. Organization's everywhere wondered what they should do in the event that one of their employees is diagnosed with measles, and how they can prevent other employees from future contact.

Here are four facts about what can and cannot happen when measles comes to your office.

Fact #1:

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) no longer provides short-term impairments from its definition of "disability." According to an article on workforce.com, "there is an argument to be made that the measles could qualify as an ADA-disability, provided that it substantially limits a major life activity of the sufferer."

However, considering people infected with measles are out for about a  week, it would be difficult to make a case that a one-week impairment could "substantially limit a major life activity" of the infected.

Fact #2:

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, private employers can require vaccinations as long as they are willing to accommodate employees' disabilities and religions. Employers can review any of these accommodations under the ADA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as well as similar state and local laws.

However, many states do not have a mandatory policy in place. It also depends on the sector in which you work. An organization in the healthcare sector may have a mandatory vaccine program for its employees since they are more likely to run the risk of coming in contact with a disease like the measles. However, organizations in other industries don't necessarily run the same risks.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states, "Generally, ADA-covered employers should consider simply encouraging employees to get the influenza vaccine rather than requiring them to take it." Even though you run risks when mandating your employees to get vaccinated, another option is to always hold an education seminar on the risks of not being vaccinated.

Fact #3:

Employers can use an ADA-compliant pandemic employee sample survey to give to their employees. On the survey, employees can be asked medical and non-medical questions about the ability of the employee to come to work, in the event of a pandemic. This survey will help give employers information they need to plan if a pandemic happens, and how to shield employers from receiving information about any illnesses that employees might have.

Before an issue arises in your workplace, it's a best practice to stay up-to-date on the Center for Disease Control, federal, state, and local public health guidelines and to also stay mindful of any anti-discrimination laws.

HR, compliance, termination, or compensation questions?

ERC has a team of HR Help Desk Advisors to provide timely and trusted answers.

Contact the Help Desk

Employment Laws HR Professionals Should Know

Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Plus Share this Page

human resource laws human resources laws 24 Employment Laws HR Professionals Should Know

In order for an organization to avoid costly legal fines and other penalties, compliance with employment laws is essential. Below are the employment laws that every HR professional should know.

1. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is administered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and covers an employer who has fifteen (15) or more employees and prohibits discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin.
Read this article...

When ADA & FMLA and Workers Comp Intersect

Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Plus Share this Page

When ADA & FMLA and Workers Comp Intersect

Workers' compensation laws, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are not mutually exclusive - they all can intersect. According to CareWorks, ERC's Preferred Partner, one of the most common mistakes employers make is failing to run workers' compensation and FMLA concurrently.

Importance of Understanding the Intersection

Each of these laws serves a different purpose. Workers' compensation compensates employees who cannot work based on a work-related injury, ADA protects and aids individuals with a disability, and FMLA provides job protected leave to individuals with a serious medical condition. But, by qualifying under one law, an employee is not automatically disqualified from the others. If more than one law applies to the situation, then the injured worker must be afforded all the rights under each applicable law.
Read this article...

ADA Compliance: How Much Is Enough?

Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Plus Share this Page

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that employers provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities. But how much accommodation is enough? When does an accommodation become unreasonable? How reasonable is reasonable?

Reasonable Accommodations Defined

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), reasonable accommodations are any effective changes or adjustments to a job or work environment that allow a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job.
Read this article...

Rarely Performed Duties Can Be Essential Functions Under ADA

Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Plus Share this Page

The outcome of a recent court case reminds employers that when determining the essential functions of the job, how frequently they are performed is just one factor that should be considered.

Case Overview

In the 2013 case Knutson v. Schwan Food Company, Knutson was a general manager for one of the organization's depots whose job description stated that a manager must meet federal Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements to be eligible to periodically drive a delivery truck.
Read this article...

Court: Random Alcohol Tests Not in Violation of ADA

Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Plus Share this Page

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) case against U.S. Steel Corp., ruled that random tests for alcohol can be performed on probationary employees who work in safety sensitive positions, and that doing so does not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

In the 2013 case, the EEOC argued that the company's policy of conducting breath alcohol testing at random on probationary employees could be considered a medical examination and that ADA restricts employers from requiring such exams unless it meets the standard of being "job related and consistent with business necessity."

Meanwhile, U.S. Steel held that its policy was lawful on several conditions, including that it was job related and consistent with business necessity, that it was part of a voluntary health and safety program negotiated and agreed upon with its union, and necessitated by the company's obligations under federal safety and environmental laws and regulations (Source: SHRM).

The court decision affirms that employers can take reasonable steps, including random alcohol tests, to keep workers safe on the job. Although, employers should proceed cautiously and still heed the EEOC's guidance regarding medical examinations under ADA.

Please note that by providing you with research information that may be contained in this article, ERC is not providing a qualified legal opinion. As such, research information that ERC provides to its members should not be relied upon or considered a substitute for legal advice. The information that we provide is for general employer use and not necessarily for individual application.

ADA/FMLA Training Course