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News from the Federal Agencies
ADA National Network
Americans with Disabilities Act Questions and Answers booklet available online
The ADA National Network is pleased to announce the availability of a resource known as "The Americans with Disabilities Act Questions and Answers booklet". This document is designed to provide answers to some of the most often asked questions about the ADA. Produced collaboratively by the 10 regional members of the ADA National Network, the information in this booklet has been adapted from "The Americans with Disabilities Act Questions and Answers" document produced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, October 2008 version. It is available on-line in HTML format with an option to download/print a PDF version.
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
EEOC Sues Presbyterian Healthcare for Disability Discrimination
Presbyterian Healthcare Associates Corp. violated federal law by refusing to hire an applicant for a phlebotomist position because of an impairment to his left knee, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it has filed. According to the EEOC lawsuit, Donovus Todd has a permanent physical impairment of his left knee as a result of a knee injury.
Outback Steakhouse to Pay $65,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit
Outback Steakhouse will pay $65,000 and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) the agency announced. The EEOC lawsuit charged Outback with firing server John Woods days after a new manager took over at Outback's Phoenix Metrocenter location. According to the EEOC's suit, John Woods had worked successfully under Outback's prior manager, but a new manager terminated Woods because of his disability, traumatic brain injury.
Supervalu / Jewel Food Held in Contempt for Breaching Consent Decree
A federal judge has held Supervalu, Inc., which owns the Jewel-Osco chain of stores, in contempt for failing to comply with conditions settling the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) disability discrimination lawsuit against the company. The judge faulted Supervalu for failing to send written job offers to employees on a disability leave of absence who can be returned to work, as required under a consent decree entered by the court in 2011.
EEOC Sues Toys "R" Us for Disability Discrimination
Toys "R" Us, Inc. violated federal law when it first refused to provide an interpreter for a deaf applicant and then failed to hire her, the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed. The EEOC charged that Shakirra Thomas, who is deaf, applied for a team member position at the retailer's Columbia, Md., store in October 2011. Thomas communicates by using American Sign Language, reading lips and through written word. When the company contacted Thomas to attend a group interview, Thomas' mother advised that Thomas was deaf and requested the company to provide an interpreter for the interview. The retailer refused and said that if Thomas wished to attend a group interview in November 2011, then she would have to provide her own interpreter, the EEOC alleges.
Jury Verdict for EEOC Against Western Trading Company In Disability Case
A unanimous jury in federal court in Denver found for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in its disability discrimination lawsuit against Western Trading Company, Inc., an Army-Navy surplus company in metro Denver. The jury awarded $109,000 for Tyler Riley, an employee who was fired because of his seizure disorder.
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
Justice Department Announces New Project Civic Access Agreement
The Justice Department announced an agreement with the city of Jacksonville, Florida, to improve access for people with disabilities to civic life in Jacksonville. The agreement was reached under Project Civic Access (PCA), the Justice Department's initiative to ensure that cities, towns and counties throughout the country comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Great Lakes In Focus
The LEAD Center announces the launch of its official website at LEADCenter.org.
The LEAD Center national website will serve as information central for the LEAD Center and a key resource for information to promote public policy, employment and economic advancement outcomes for all people across the spectrum of disability.
The Website features are given as:
- The latest LEAD Center and initiatives
- Relevant national news to our key issue areas of employment, public policy and economic advancement for people with disabilities.
- A comprehensive, easily searchable resource-centerwith reports, articles, websites, publications, etc. focusing on our key issue areas;
- A National Calendar and Trainings
- Information on the LEAD Center's free Webinars and more
New resources, events, news and information will be added to the site regularly, with guest blogs and other features coming in June. The LEAD Center website offers numerous opportunities to interact with the Staff and showcases our Partners and Subject-Matter Experts
Social media and RSS feeds are integrated throughout key pages of the site, allowing visitors to share news and resources easily with colleagues, friends and family
Explore the LEAD Center website today at LEAD Center
Have feedback for us? Please email us at info@LEADCenter.orgWe hope you enjoy the new site as much as we've enjoyed creating it for you.
Project Director,LEAD Center
Prock vs. Tamura Corporation of America For more information visit http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/nonpub/E054185.DOC
Justin Prock worked for Tamura Corporation of America. In July 2008, Prock began suffering from an anxiety disorder. His physician prescribed medication and ordered Prock to take a leave of absence from work from August 20 to September 5, 2008. Prock's physician later called for extending the leave for an additional two weeks. The company granted Prock's leave request and he was scheduled to return to work on September 22.
On September 22, Prock's manager e-mailed Prock that she had expected him back to work that day and inquired whether his doctor had sought to extend his medical leave and requested the doctor fax her a note if that were the case. Thereafter, Prock phoned his manager and told her that his physician recommended an extension of his leave through October 31st. The manager responded that the company could not hold his position open until then and that he was terminated.
Prock filed suit under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). The employer filed for summary judgment and it was granted. Prock appealed that decision and the summary judgment decision was reversed.
The company contended that an employee who needs a leave of absence from work is not capable of performing his or her job and is therefore, by definition, not a qualified individual under the FEHA, and that a plaintiff who has received disability benefits is precluded from asserting that he or she is a qualified individual under the FEHA. The Court called these contentions "faulty." Under California law, the Court explained, an employee who is temporarily disabled and needs a leave of absence to recover from the disabling condition may be a qualified individual.
From the ADA Expert
Question: What is the association provision of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with regards to employment and to whom does it provide protection?Answer:
The ADA covers private employers with 15 or more full or part-time employees and also state and local government employers. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all employment practices of covered employers. A covered employer may hire, fire or promote the most qualified individual he or she chooses but that employer is prohibited from using disability in that decision making process.
The purpose of the association provision is to prohibit employers from taking adverse actions based on unfounded stereotypes and assumptions about individuals who associate with people who have disabilities. The ADA makes actions such as refusing to hire an individual who has a child with a disability based on an assumption that the applicant will be away from work excessively or be otherwise unreliable, firing an employee who works with people who are HIV-positive or have AIDS based on the assumption that the employee will contract the disease, or denying an employee health care coverage available to others because of the disability of an employee's dependent unlawful.
The association provision of the ADA prohibits employment discrimination against a person, whether or not he or she has a disability, because of his or Her known relationship or association with a person with a known disability. This means that an employer is prohibited from making adverse employment decisions based on unfounded concerns about the known disability of a family member or anyone else with which the applicant or employee has a relationship or association.
The ADA does not require a family relationship for an individual to be protected by the association provision. The important factor is whether the employer is motivated by the individual's relationship or association with a person who has a disability.
Employers don't have to provide reasonable accommodations to employees who associate with individuals with disabilities. Only qualified applicants and employees with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodation.
For example, the ADA would not require an employer to modify its leave policy for an employee who needs time off to care for a child with a disability. However, an employer must avoid treating an employee differently than other employees because of his or her association with a person with a disability.
Questions and Answers About the Americans with Disabilities Act's Association Provision