Employer Law Report

Tag Archives: disability

Is your online application process a risk?

Do you solicit and accept employment applicants electronically? If so, assume a potential applicant has physical or other disabilities making it difficult for him or her to apply. Do you have a risk under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, or under Ohio or other disability discrimination laws? You may.…

University gets it right when it says, “enough is enough”: Tenth Circuit upholds inflexible leave policy under Rehabilitation Act

Employers who have been concerned about the EEOC’s stance on inflexible maximum leave policies can find some comfort in the Tenth Circuit’s decision in Hwang v. Kansas State University, wherein the court held a six month leave of absence was a reasonable accommodation, and the University’s denial of additional time was not a violation of the Rehabilitation Act.


Grace Hwang was employed as a professor at Kansas State University from 1994 until February 2012, on a year-to-year contract. Ms. Hwang served as an assistant professor in KSU’s School of Leadership Studies. In 2005, Hwang was diagnosed with breast …

Major Changes to Affirmative Action Requirements Effective March 24, 2014

Companies covered by federal affirmative action obligations have some major changes for which to prepare. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued two new rules which take effect March 24, 2014. The new rules expand the affirmative action requirements for covered veterans and disabled persons.

For over 30 years, regulations under the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) and under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 have required covered employers to engage in good faith efforts to recruit and employ covered veterans and disabled persons. The requirements include the obligation to invite …

OFCCP Proposes Numerical Goals for Employment of Persons with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Federal Contracts Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has proposed a new rule requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to set a goal to have 7% of their workforce be individuals with disabilities. Presently, federal contractors and subcontractors are only required to set percentage numerical goals for areas of their workforces where women and minorities are found to be underrepresented based on an "Availability Analysis" conducted under OFCCP regulations. The 7% goal for persons with disabilities proposed by OFCCP would apply to each job group in the contractor’s workforce. It is not based on any calculation by …

Sixth Circuit Orders Reinstatement and Overturns $4.4 Million Front Pay Award In Vet’s Disability Discrimination Case

The recent Sixth Circuit case of McKelvey v. Secretary of United States Army highlights the plight of many disabled veterans returning to the civilian work force and presents a lesson for employers on how not to address those issues.

James McKelvey, an Army veteran who lost his right hand and suffered other serious injuries while trying to defuse a roadside bomb in Iraq in February 2004, returned to work at the Detroit Arsenal where he claimed his supervisors and co-workers at the armory constantly harassed him by calling him "cripple," and "worthless," and not assigning him an equal workload. McKelvey …

House Overwhelmingly Approves ADA Amendments Act

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the ADA Amendments Act, H.R. 3195, by a vote of 402-17. The bill would amend the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and reject several U.S. Supreme Court decisions that have narrowed the scope of the ADA’s protection. If enacted, the bill would be effective January 1, 2009.

The intent of the bill is to restore the broad scope of protection available under the ADA.  The legislation includes the following key provisions:

  • The definition of disability is to be construed broadly.
  • Clarifies the definition of “disability” by:
    • Defining “substantially limits” to mean materially restricts (rather than

Recent Ohio Supreme Court Decision Represents Key Victory for Ohio Employers

On December 20, 2007, the Supreme Court of Ohio released its decision in Bickers v. Western & Southern Life Insurance Company, which expressly limits the Court’s previous holding in Coolidge v. Riverdale Local School District. In Coolidge, the Supreme Court held that an employer could not terminate an employee who was receiving temporary total disability compensation on the basis of absenteeism or inability to work, when the absence or inability to work is directly related to an allowed medical condition in his or her workers’ compensation claim. 

As a result of the Coolidge decision, many Ohio employers were …