Employer Law Report

Tag Archives: disability discrimination

Courts in Massachusetts and Rhode Island permit medical marijuana users to pursue disability discrimination claims

Recent decisions from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and a Rhode Island Superior Court have held that a discharged employee and a rejected applicant, both of whom tested positive for marijuana, may pursue disability discrimination claims under state law. These are among the first decisions issued that address whether employers have a state law obligation to reasonably accommodate the medical marijuana use of their disabled employees and applicants.

Because marijuana use – whether for medicinal or recreational purposes – remains unlawful under federal law, employers have no obligation under the Americans with Disabilities Act to reasonably accommodate its use by …

Sixth Circuit Applies “But For” Test in Disability Discrimination Case

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, has decided that a worker suing under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") no longer must prove she was fired solely because of her disability, but instead need only show that her employer would have kept her "but for" her disability. Lewis v. Humboldt Acquisition Corporation, Inc.

Susan Lewis was employed as a registered nursed at Humboldt Acquisition Corporation, Inc., ("Humboldt") from July 2004 until March 20, 2006, at which time she was allegedly terminated for a profanity-laced outburst directed at her supervisors. Lewis filed a suit in federal …

Scalia v. Aldi–A Mixed Bag for Employers

The Ohio Court of Appeals for the Ninth Appellate District recently issued a decision that has potential to create more questions than answers when it comes to workers’ compensation retaliation and disability discrimination law in Ohio.

While employed at Aldi, Maria Scalia injured her elbow. Her claim for workers’ compensation was granted, and she was off work receiving workers’ compensation benefits while her restrictions impaired her ability to perform her job. A year later, Aldi ordered an independent medical examination which found Ms. Scalia had reached maximum medical improvement, which resulted in the termination of Ms. Scalia’s workers’ compensation benefits. …