ADA Situations
ADA Situations 1) Joan Smith worked for the State of Illinois as a Corrections Officer. This position listed lifting a minimum of 30 pounds as an essential function of the job. Joan was in a non-work related accident and as a result, was no longer able to meet the lifting requirement due to a back injury. She eventually transferred to a desk job that did not require lifting. Her new job duties included processing paperwork for prisoners, answering phone calls, and general case management, all requiring regular attendance. Smith continued to have issues with her back and ended up taking a 12 week FMLA leave. At the end of her leave, she was still in a good deal of pain and requested another 30 day unpaid leave of absence, not only for her pain, but also to care for her father, who was in Hospice. The request was granted, however towards the end of that leave, she requested additional time off. At that point, Smith was informed that her request was denied and if she failed to return to work upon the conclusion of the 30-day leave, the termination process would begin. She did not return to work on her expected date but did submit notes from her doctor requesting additional time off for a medical leave. The notes did not provide any detail on her condition, course of treatment, or estimated recovery. Smith’s employment was terminated and she in turn sued, claiming that the State should have considered her request for an accommodation of unpaid leave rather than terminate her. 2) Troy Milton worked for a manufacturing company in Texas that had policy prohibiting any firearms on company premises. On day, Troy brought his shotgun into the premises and was immediately terminated for this policy violation. Later, he had a mental breakdown and was hospitalized and subsequently diagnosed with a mental disorder. After his release from the hospital, Troy attempted to get his job back by claiming that his mentor disorder was covered under the ADA and as such, a reasonable accommodation would be to discipline him, but not fire him for the offense. 3) Cindy Steborn also worked for the manufacturing company in the above case as an Order Processor. She had been in her job for 6 months. Prior to this job, she worked in a retail store where there was a shooting. Several of her close coworkers were injured and one died. When Cindy witnessed Troy walk into the facility with his gun, she became physically ill and left the building. She later notified her employer that she had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and requested that she work from home as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. She stated that she would be able to complete all of her work from home. At the time of the incident there were several employees in similar positions that also worked remotely and they did have a formal telecommuting policy in place. The policy stated that to be eligible, you had to be employed for a minimum of 1 year and a performance evaluation score of a 3 – Satisfactory or higher. The company denied her request, stating that the conditions in the policy were not met, Cindy had not been employed the minimum time period and as such, a formal performance evaluation had not been completed. Cindy quit her job and later sued her employer for failing to accommodate her ADA request. 4) Rhonda Meyer worked as a bus dispatcher for a school district. Her job required her to have a Commercial Drivers’ License (CDL) in the event that she needed to fill in for bus drivers. Rhonda was recently diagnosed with high blood pressure and subsequently put on medication for this condition. She disclosed this to her employer and they promptly told her that she would either need to transfer to another department that did not require a CDL. The reason for this action was because her high blood pressure condition was not in compliance with health criteria imposed by the Department of Transportation ("DOT"). Rhoda stated that she did not want to transfer and felt that the company was discriminating against her due to her disability. She further stated that a reasonable accommodation would be to modify the job so that a CDL was no longer required. The company denied the request and offered to transfer her to another job. She turned down the offer, left her employer and later sued the company for a violation of the ADA. 5) Ron White was a forklift driver for a “big box” home improvement store in Colorado. His employer had a policy on mandatory “post-accident” drug/alcohol testing. Early one Monday morning, Ron and Dan Little, another forklift driver, collided, resulting in minor damages to both forklifts. Both were sent for drug/alcohol testing following the incident. The results came back and showed Ron testing positive for marijuana and Dan testing positive for alcohol. Both employees were brought in (separately) and old that they would be terminated for a violation of company policy. Ron was brought in first and was promptly terminated. Dan was brought in next, however he stated at that time that he was an alcoholic and requested an ADA accommodation to attend a treatment program. Ron heard about this and contacted his former employer, asking for a reasonable accommodation for his drug addiction. For this case, state whether or not either employee would qualify for coverage under the ADA

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