A Capehart Scatchard Blog


The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation.

Ohio State University Medical Center Did Not Violate the ADA in Requiring a Psychiatric Fitness Examination

By on April 8, 2016 in ADA with 0 Comments

Sometimes alarming statements made at work justify a fitness examination.  In the case of Barnum v. The Ohio State University Medical Center, 2016 App. LEXIS 2957 (6th Cir. 2016), the plaintiff worked as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.  In 2011, she was having issues at home due to a divorce and other family matters.  A […]

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School Board Properly Terminated Teacher Who Failed Two Fitness Exams and Who Requested Hiring Part-Time Aide

By on March 18, 2016 in ADA with 0 Comments

Reasonable accommodation has its limits as is noted in the case of Belasco v. Warrensville Heights City School District, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 21493 (6th Cir. 2015).  Norma Belasco, a long-time teacher, began to have serious health issues in 2007, starting with renal failure with an eventual kidney transplant in 2013.  She also had heart […]

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Federal Court Upholds Wellness Program and Rejects Law Suit Filed By EEOC Challenging Health Risk Assessment Procedures

By on March 3, 2016 in ADA with 1 Comment

Wellness programs are becoming a new area of litigation as can be seen in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission  v. Flambeau, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173482 (W. D. Wisconsin December 31, 2015).  The case involved a manufacturer of plastic products which offered its employees various employee benefits, including participation in a health insurance plan.  Employees […]

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School Board Did Not Violate ADA in Non-Renewing Teacher but May Have Violated His FMLA Rights

By on February 19, 2016 in ADA, FMLA with 1 Comment

Terrence Preddie was employed from 2010-2011 as a fifth-grade teacher at Columbus Signature-Codrea Elementary School in Indiana.  Dr. Diane Clancy assessed Preddie’s job performance in the first school term as effective in some areas and needing improvement in others.  One specific area where improvement was needed was in leaving organized lesson plans for substitute teachers. […]

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Township Violated ADA in Requiring Employee to Submit to a Fitness Exam Without Showing a Job-Related Reason for Exam

By on February 10, 2016 in ADA with 0 Comments

Paul Williams worked for ten years for the Township of Lakewood in the Department of Public Works (DPW).  On March 28, 2013, the Township Manager received an anonymous letter concerning Mr. Williams.  The writer said he was a co-worker and that he and other co-workers were in fear of their safety because Williams allegedly exhibited […]

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Federal Court Rejects Summary Judgment for Employer in Disability Discrimination Claim Where Employer Failed to Engage in Interactive Dialogue Until Employee Could Return to Work

By on January 19, 2016 in ADA with 0 Comments

Penelope Bertolotti worked for Autozone, Inc. as a Divisional Human Resources Generalist.  She was hired in early 2012 and sought a leave of absence due to personal illness on October 15, 2012.  She returned to work on October 29, 2012 only to request another leave of absence commencing on November 5, 2012.  At first her […]

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Court Finds that Company Did Not Discriminate Against Injured Worker Returning from Comp Injury When It Fired Him for Lack of Available Work

By on December 23, 2015 in ADA with 0 Comments

Michael Sluga worked for Metamora Telephone Company as an Outside Plant Supervisor.  On July 27, 2011 he slipped on a trailer while at work and fell two feet to the ground, tearing his rotator cuff.  He tried to work with the injury but eventually in December he asked for a six month leave of absence […]

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Employer Did Not Have a Job Related Reason to Compel Fitness for Duty Examination

By on November 5, 2015 in ADA with 0 Comments

One of the challenges for employers is determining when a fitness-for-duty examination can be required and when it cannot be.  This issue sometimes flows from a workers’ compensation case following a long period of absence but also emerges in other situations unrelated to workers’ compensation. In Margaret Wright v. Illinois Department of Children and Family […]

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Employee Defeats School Board’s Motion for Summary Judgment in Case Involving Possible Use of Air-Conditioned Bus

By on October 21, 2015 in ADA with 0 Comments

The Clayton County School District in Atlanta, Georgia employed Edith Hill as a bus driver.  During the school year 2009-2010 Hill was assigned a non-air-conditioned bus for special needs students.  The temperatures inside the bus rose above 100 degrees and Hill found she was experiencing serious difficulty in breathing.  She filed an “Employee Request for […]

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Federal Court Rejects ADA Suit by Security Officer but Allows Workers’ Comp Retaliation Claim to Go to Trial

By on July 27, 2015 in ADA with 0 Comments

Patrick Vasnaik worked for Providence Health & Services – Oregon as a security officer from 2006 to 2012.  His performance evaluations over the years fluctuated between requiring improvement to exceeding expectations.  However, he required several coachings over the years for not arriving on time to work.  In May 2010 he received a “documented coaching” after […]

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Court Holds that Employee With Restrictions Who Was Terminated Should Have Chance to Prove Reasonable Accommodations Could Have Been Made by Employer

By on April 2, 2015 in ADA with 1 Comment

Many employers have 100% healed policies that can redound to their detriment in court.  That was the situation in Kauffman v. Petersen Health Care, VII, LLC, 769 F.3d 958 (7th Cir. 2014). Debra Kauffman worked as one of two hairdressers at Mason Point Nursing Home in central Illinois.  On Mondays and Tuesdays, she would wheel […]

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Federal Court Holds that Employer Does Not Have to Remove Essential Job Functions as a Reasonable Accommodation Under ADA

By on February 5, 2015 in ADA with 0 Comments

Joe Wilkerson worked for Boomerang Tube, LLC  first as a general laborer and then as a mill operator. He injured his left hand on December 13, 2010 while operating the mill.  He returned to work on restricted duty on December 17, 2010.  On that evening at work, he reinjured his hand requiring another visit to […]

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Third Circuit Court Holds Employer May Have Violated Law against Discrimination in Firing Long-Time Employee

By on November 14, 2014 in ADA with 0 Comments

Segundo Rojas worked 28 years for Acuity Brands Lighting, Inc.  In June 2011, Rojas was approved to leave work for a vacation to Ecuador set to last from June 27 to July 12, 2011.  However, he became ill in Ecuador from diverticulitis and did not return until September 12, 2011. Rojas claimed that he was […]

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Court of Appeals Explains When Employer Can Require Fitness for Duty Exam in Case Involving University of Maryland Professor

By on October 3, 2014 in ADA with 1 Comment
Court of Appeals Explains When Employer Can Require Fitness for Duty Exam in Case Involving University of Maryland Professor

When can an employer require a physical or mental fitness-for-duty examination? That was the issue in Coursey v. University of Maryland Eastern Shore, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12407 (4th Cir. 2014). Over a period of years, beginning in 2004, students and faculty members lodged complaints about the conduct of Professor Leon Coursey.  The allegations concerned […]

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Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Finds Leave in Excess of Six Months Is not a Reasonable Accommodation

By on September 23, 2014 in ADA with 0 Comments
Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Finds Leave in Excess of Six Months Is not a Reasonable Accommodation

Grace Hwang worked as an assistant Professor at Kansas State University.  Before the fall term began, she found out she had cancer and needed treatment.  She requested a six month leave of absence, which Kansas State granted.  As the spring term approached, Hwang’s doctor indicated that she would need additional leave time.  She requested another […]

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