There is a general understanding that the law affords certain protections for pregnant people in the workplace. Most notably, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination in the workplace on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act was passed in 1978 as an amendment to Title
Addiction and the ADA
Addiction is a complex issue that affects millions of people in the United States. It is a chronic condition characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior and the inability to control drug use despite negative consequences. Addiction can impact all areas of a person’s life, including their relationships, work, and health.…
Fair Trials for Employees with Intellectual Disabilities
We often think of a fair trial in terms of having an impartial judge and jury, effective assistance of counsel, the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses, and the ability to cross-examine the adversary’s witnesses and present rebuttal evidence. However, trials are much more complicated than…
You can’t make me go back! Or . . . can you?
When I first read an article several years ago about a Google employee living in the company’s parking lot, I thought to myself, “brilliant.” He had everything he needed at the office—food, gym, shower, electricity, etc.—except for a place to sleep. So instead of renting…
A Complicated Relationship: Covid-19 and Disability Discrimination
The Omicron variant of Covid-19 has been spreading like wildfire both among the vaccinated and unvaccinated. Contracting the new strain is causing many to have to take time off of work and out of the office (one would hope). Suppose, however, that once you labor…
Standing After Death
“[P]hysical or mental disabilities in no way diminish a person’s right to fully participate in all aspects of society, yet many people with physical or mental disabilities have been precluded from doing so because of discrimination[.]” 42 U.S.C. § 12101(a)(1). Accordingly, Congress passed, and subsequently…
Mental Health and Protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act
May is mental health awareness month. It is designated as such to bring awareness to the importance of mental health and to de-stigmatize mental illness. As an employment lawyer, I believe this effort is of the upmost importance.
Mental health should not be looked at any differently than…
When the Silence is Broken, and the Secret is Out. (Part 2)
When an employee’s addiction is no longer a secret at work, they may be concerned with the possibility of supervisors critiquing their work more harshly and suddenly making frequent performance complaints, or even upper management and human resources making them feel unsupported at work. When this happens, they are sure to have questions.
Can I be fired because of my addiction?
If you are wondering what the answer is to this question, the answer is – it depends. Different facts and circumstances will yield different answers.…
Continue Reading When the Silence is Broken, and the Secret is Out. (Part 2)
When the Silence is Broken, and the Secret is Out (Part 1)
Nearly 19.7 million Americans have something in common. Of those millions, those in the workforce keep their pain a secret – the idea of their employers finding out fills them with fear.
Sadly, that fear is not misplaced.
For millions, the battle with alcoholism and drug addiction is a daily fight. And because of the stigmas attached to these disabilities, people suffer in silence.
But what happens when the silence is broken, and the secret is out?
When an employee realizes they need help, they don’t know what steps to take. But they should act early. This is especially true if the employee realizes their work attendance or performance is suffering, or pressures on the job are having a negative effect on them.…
Continue Reading When the Silence is Broken, and the Secret is Out (Part 1)