Top Seven Laws Every Employer Should Know*

1.  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)– In brief, Title VII bars certain employers from discriminating against employees, former employees, or applicants for employment based on race, color, national origin, religion or sex (including gender and pregnancy). Title VII also prohibits harassment and retaliation based on the same protected characteristics…. More

Is Being at the Office an Essential Function? Maybe Not

When an employee requested to work from home full-time to accommodate her disabling irritable bowel syndrome under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), her employer refused, stating that the company stressed in-person teamwork. The district court agreed with the employer and found that the employee’s accommodation request was not reasonable.   The Court of Appeals, however,… More

Temporary Disability May Still Qualify for Protection Under the ADA

Long gone are the days of automatically challenging whether an employee truly is “disabled.”  As further proof of this maxim, in Summers v. Altarum Institute Corp. the Fourth Circuit (covering Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina) recently found in favor of an employee who’s employment was terminated when her temporary injury prevented her from… More

Clear Communication May Limit FMLA and ADA Liability

When does open heart surgery not qualify for FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) protection?  As demonstrated by the recent case Ahmed v. The Salvation Army, perhaps when the employee repeatedly fails to submit proper paperwork.  The employee in this case told her Maryland-based employer she would need leave for… More

FMLA Does Not Mean Vacation On Demand

The federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles covered employees to unpaid leave to deal with certain family and medical illnesses.  As one employee learned the hard way, however, the law does not guarantee vacation on demand.  Hurley v. Kent of Naples, Inc., 2:10-cv-00334-JES (11th Cir. Mar. 20, 2014).  The employee suffered from depression, and… More