Bass Berry & Sims Labor Talk

Tag Archives: ADA

Mental Impairments: When Can an Employer Require a Fitness-for-Duty Exam?

Posted in Discrimination and Harassment Law and Practice

Employers often must balance the mandates of seemingly competing directives. A challenging example arises in the area of possible mental impairment.  An employer may hear concerns that an employee is acting abnormally, or has hinted at a desire to hurt herself, or is exhibiting other possible signs of mental impairment.  The employer does not wish… Continue Reading

EEOC Joins Other Agencies with Proposed Regulations on Wellness Programs Incentives

Posted in Employee Benefits

On April 16, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued proposed regulations on the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) to wellness program incentives. The release was followed closely by FAQs and a fact sheet. Other agencies similarly provided guidance, including joint FAQs from the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Revives Pregnancy Discrimination Case

Posted in Discrimination and Harassment Law and Practice

Is the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Young v. United Parcel Service, here, a limited ruling, applicable only in the context of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)? Or, does the decision ring in a whole new (and less employer-friendly) era in discrimination case law? It is too early to tell. Allow this explanation for why…. Continue Reading

Wellness Programs Face Muddy Regulatory Waters

Posted in Employee Benefits

Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys Sarah Krause and Stephanie Roth authored the article “Wellness Programs Face Muddy Regulatory Waters,” that was published by Employee Benefits News on December 23.  In the article, the authors discuss the EEOC’s recently filed complaints alleging that employers’ wellness programs violate the ADA. To read the full article, click here…. Continue Reading

EEOC Targets Voluntariness of Employer-Sponsored Wellness Programs

Posted in Employee Benefits

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently filed complaints against three employers alleging that the employers’ wellness programs violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) due to the penalties imposed on employees who chose not to complete the wellness programs’ requirements. The ADA prohibits employers from asking employees disability-related questions or requiring employees to… Continue Reading

Requiring Employee to Seek Counseling May Violate ADA

Posted in Uncategorized

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits a covered employer from requiring an employee to undergo a “medical examination,” unless the examination is shown to be job-related and consistent with business necessity. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that an employer’s demand that an employee seek psychological counseling as a condition of continued… Continue Reading

Termination Notice Referring to Disability Considered Direct Evidence of Discrimination

Posted in Discrimination and Harassment Law and Practice, Leaves of Absence/FMLA Law and Practice

A Tennessee federal judge recently ruled that a termination notice referring to an employee’s “long-term disability” was direct evidence of discrimination and retaliation.  The Court granted the employee judgment as a matter of law under the ADA. The employee, Coffman, had been off work on an extended medical leave.  She had exhausted her FMLA leave… Continue Reading

Court Rules That Two-Year Period After Demotion Not Fatal to Constructive Discharge Claim

Posted in Discrimination and Harassment Law and Practice, Retaliation/Whistleblower

A former elementary school principal, who was demoted to a physical education (P.E.) teacher, survives a summary dismissal of his constructive discharge claim despite a two-year gap between the demotion and his decision to retire.  Terry Gannon sued the Cannon County, Tennessee Board of Education for, among other things, discrimination and retaliatory constructive discharge in… Continue Reading

ADA Developments – “How Much Leave Is Required?” Is the Wrong Question

Posted in Leaves of Absence/FMLA Law and Practice

Based on recent developments, employers wonder how much leave is really required under the ADA.  It seems that employers with even generous policies and practices have run afoul of the EEOC either in individualized cases, or, worse yet, in class claims. Most recently, Verizon Communications Inc. settled for a record $20 million payout based on… Continue Reading

What are the Protected EEO/Non-Discrimination Categories in Tennessee?

Posted in Discrimination and Harassment Law and Practice, Doing Business in Tennessee

The Tennessee Human Rights Act (THRA) applies to employers with eight or more employees within the state and prohibits discrimination based on race, creed, color, religion, sex, age or national origin.  The interpretation and enforcement of the THRA follows closely that of Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The Tennessee Human… Continue Reading

What is the “Interactive Process”?

Posted in Discrimination and Harassment Law and Practice

As an employer’s representative, I know that when I become aware of an employee’s disability, or even now, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) amendments, when I become aware of an employee’s impairment that could impact the employee’s job, I must engage in an “interactive process.”  But what is that?  How does the interactive… Continue Reading