Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

In Van Rossum v. Baltimore County, Maryland, a jury awarded a community health inspector $250,000 in compensatory damages and $530,000 in back pay after deciding that her employer, Baltimore County, violated the ADA by refusing to accommodate her and, after she exhausted FMLA leave, threatening her with discharge and pressuring her to retire if she did not return to work. In addition, the Court awarded Van Rossum $487,616.25 in reasonable attorneys’ fees plus $32,472.30 in litigation costs, which brought the total award to more than $1.3 million. (more…)

On October 12, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, which hears appeals from federal courts in Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, ruled that a trucking company did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it stopped giving work to a driver who refused to submit to in-lab sleep apnea testing.
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Earlier this month, the Supreme Court decided EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch, a Title VII case involving religious discrimination. While the case did not directly involve the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the accommodation analysis could bleed into ADA cases. In particular, should employers be on the lookout for nonobvious disabilities? (more…)

The Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12191, et seq. (“ADA”), expressly excludes from its protections individuals whose gender identity disorder is not the result of a physical impairment. The so-called “GID exclusion” is found in § 12211(b)(1) of the ADA, which provides, in no uncertain terms, that “transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments, or other sexual behavior disorders” do not fall under the Act’s definition of “disability.” (more…)

Wearable technology or wearable tech is the latest craze in personal electronics. The phrase encompasses anything electronic that is worn by a user. It took center stage at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, and since then, it has slowly but deliberately moved from fad to mainstream. If Apple’s track record of making products for the masses holds true, wearable tech will continue to take off with the release of the Apple Watch. (more…)