Disabled employees who require maximum flexibility in their work schedules have received a show of support from the DC Court of Appeals in the recent decision of Solomon v. Vilsack, (No. 12-5123, 8/14), which held that a "maxiflex schedule" -- one that allows an employee to come in late, leave early and work late, as needed -- can be a reasonable accommodation for a disability so long as that person fulfills their weekly hours.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently released a new guidance expanding protections for pregnant workers.
One of the most important aspects of the new EEOC guidance is that the Commission believes that pregnant employees are entitled to the same reasonable accommodations available that employers make available to non-pregnant employees who are comparably-limited in their ability to work. If accommodations such as modified assignments, adjusted schedules, more frequent breaks, paid or unpaid leave, and light duty are provided for non-pregnant employees, they must also be available to similarly-situated pregnant employees. For example, if an employer permits a non-pregnant employee with a disability to take more frequent breaks, a lactating employee should have breaks for expression of breast milk. However, the guidance makes clear that employers cannot force pregnant employees to take time off. Employees who are pregnant or who have related conditions must be allowed to work.
In A.C. Widenhouse, Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, No. 1:11-cv-00498-TDS-JEP (4th Cir. June 24, 2014).
A Correctional Officer with almost 23-years of service with the DC Department of Corrections contacted us after he was removed from his employment, filed his appeal with OEA 8-months after the deadline, and the Judge issued a Show Cause Order directing him to file a Brief in Support of Jurisdiction due to his untimely filing. We submitted a brief identifying that DC had failed to follow all of the procedural requirements in violation of the applicable statutes which denied our client due process and resulted in harmful error and his untimely filing of his appeal. The Judge ruled in our favor and reinstated our client's appeal to be assigned a judge where his removal can be determined on the merits of his case.
The face of workplace discrimination has evolved in America over the past several decades. It used to be relatively easy to spot discrimination and harassment. Companies simply would fail to either hire or promote certain individuals based on their age, sex, religion, ethnicity or other protected classification. Occasionally, this kind of blatant workplace discrimination continues to occur. However, present-day instances of discrimination tend to be more subtle.
The subtlety of many forms of discrimination often leaves workers wondering if they have actually been treated in an illegal manner. It is therefore important to speak with an experienced attorney if you believe that you may be the victim of workplace discrimination. An attorney will likely be able to give you a good sense of your legal options given your particular set of circumstances. But what if you are questioning whether the behavior you are experiencing is actually discrimination?
There is an economic argument popular with conservatives concerning why the government should not set minimum wages or otherwise interfere with pay structures. The argument insists that without government interference, each employee's true economic value will become apparent because "the market" will determine what their work is worth.
However, this argument is based on the assumption that no other entities or individuals are tampering with market forces in an effort to deprive workers of the wages they deserve. Unfortunately, that assumption is false. In recent years, wage and hour disputes have become commonplace because an increasing number of employers are engaging in wage theft.
Ten years ago very few people were asked to sign contracts that included non compete, non solicitation and confidentiality provisions. Today, that practice seems commonplace. And in today's economy, we see people nearly every week who, after leaving a job on their own or by firing, receive a letter from their former employer threatening a lawsuit and/or demanding that the person either inform the new employer about the restrictive covenants, quit or stop working in their chosen field.
What if you suffer from a disability and find that you need to telecommute but your employer states that your physical presence at work is essential?
Companies that use background checks when making hiring and firing decisions are required to comply with federal and state due process laws to protect people who are fired or rejected in case the information contained in the report is false.
The Americans with Disabilities Act lays out a number of protections for individuals who are disabled, including protection from employment discrimination. One of the most cited provisions in the ADA is one requiring that employers must make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities except when doing so would cause "undue hardship."
American workplaces continue to change in ways that make it easier for employers to offer accommodations to all employees, regardless of whether or not they have a disability. Telecommuting in particular allows many workers to do their jobs without ever leaving the comfort of their own homes. As such, it may be getting harder for employers to argue that they cannot make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities.