Absence Management & Reasonable Accommodation

By Linda C. Schoonmaker and Brian A. Wadsworth

Seyfarth Synopsis: The First Circuit recently sided with an employer in a disability discrimination suit in Trahan v. Wayfair Maine, Inc., Civil Action 19-1961.

The former employee plaintiff claimed that her employer discriminated against her when it terminated her employment and failed to honor her accommodation request after the employer
Continue Reading Too Little, Too Late: The First Circuit Finds For Employers in an Accommodation Request Made After The Termination Decision

By Lisa Lehmann Nichols, Samantha L. Brooks, and Steve Shardonofsky

Seyfarth Synopsis:  The Department of Labor recently issued additional “questions and answers” (“Q&A”) relating to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). Below are a few key takeaways as employers reassess leave requirements for this summer.

1.  COVID-Related Summer Camp Closures (Q&A Nos. 67 and
Continue Reading Paid Leave and Coronavirus—Part XIV: Our Top Five Takeaways from the DOL’s Most Recent FFCRA Q&As as the Summer Unofficially Begins and Businesses Continue to Reopen

By Funto P. Seton and Esteban Shardonofsky

Seyfarth Synopsis: The US Supreme Court has never directly decided and the federal courts of appeal have not reached a unanimous decision on whether the “but for” or “motivating factor” standard applies to retaliation claims under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). An interlocutory appeal recently taken from the federal court
Continue Reading “But For” or “Motivating Factor” Under the FMLA? The Fifth Circuit May Soon Clarify and Join the Circuit Split

By Louisa J. Johnson and James J. Swartz, Jr.

Seyfarth Synopsis: On April, 17, 2020, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Durham v. Rural/Metro Corp., No. 18-14687, considered a matter of first impression within the Circuit and became one of the first appellate courts to consider the following: who is deemed a valid comparator to a pregnant
Continue Reading Eleventh Circuit Finds Comparator Evidence Requirement Less Stringent Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act

By Benjamin J. Conley, Paul S. Drizner, Diane V. Dygert, and Jennifer A. Kraft

Seyfarth Synopsis: As employers look for ways to help employees impacted by the current pandemic, one option to consider is permitting employees to donate their accrued, but unused paid time off (PTO) to fellow employees in need.  For an overview of some other
Continue Reading Too Much Time on My Hands: Helping Employees Through COVID-19 Pandemic with PTO Donation

By Stan Hill and Cary Reid Burke

Seyfarth Synopsis: Recently, when affirming summary judgment to the employer in a disability discrimination case, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued two welcome reminders. First, to pursue a disability accommodation, an employee must actually ask for an accommodation (although not necessarily using any magic words). Second, and just as fundamentally, employees must
Continue Reading Ask, or You Shall Not Receive: 5th Circuit Nixes Accommodation Claim for Employee’s Failure to Ask for an Accommodation

By Linda C. Schoonmaker and Vanessa Rogers

Seyfarth Synopsis: Vaccinations have been widely debated over the past few years, leaving employers unclear about their obligations to accommodate employees whose religious beliefs conflict with them. Recently the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a decision providing insight into vaccination accommodations and establishing favorable precedent for employers.

Specifically, the
Continue Reading 5th Circuit Says No, Employer Not Liable for Religious Discrimination, Retaliation, or First Amendment Violations in Employee Vaccination Case

By Lennon B. Haas and Kevin M. Young

Seyfarth Synopsis: In Flaherty v. Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc., ___ F.3d ___, No. 18-1759, 2019 WL 7046367, at *1 (1st Cir. Dec. 23, 2019), the First Circuit struck a terminated nuclear plant security officer’s self-serving affidavit opposing summary judgment and held that he was not qualified for his position, and thus
Continue Reading Nuclear Power Company Avoids ADA Discrimination Claim Meltdown

By Brandon L. Dixon and Erin Dougherty Foley

Seyfarth Synopsis:  The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) not only provides protection to individuals who have physical or mental impairments, but to individuals an employer may perceive to have such impairments.  These cases can be challenging for employers to defend, and the recent Sixth Circuit case, Babb v. Maryville Anesthesiologists, P.C.
Continue Reading Sixth Circuit “Regarded As” ADA case — When Reality and Perception Collide

By Jennifer L. Mora

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed summary judgment in favor of an employer that terminated an employee after he tested positive for methamphetamines, even though he claimed that his drug test was the result of his use of an over-the-counter sinus medicine. While a favorable decision to employers, it serves as
Continue Reading Court Upholds Termination of Employee Who Claimed Failed Drug Test Was Due to Over-the-Counter Medications