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The Legal Stuff
BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law

20 Jul Sixth Circuit Holds Full-Time Presence at Work not Essential Simply Because an Employer Says So

On July 17, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reminded employers that determining the essential functions of a position is a highly fact specific endeavor in which categorical rules do not apply.   In Hosttetler v. College of Wooster, Heidi Hostettler worked as a full-time HR Generalist. After giving birth to her child, Hostettler experienced severe postpartum depression and separation anxiety. As a result, Hostetller’s physician determined it was medically necessary that she worked a reduced schedule and recommended that Hostettler…

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19 Apr Zero-Tolerance for Upside-Down Burritos

  A recent decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit provides some useful reminders for employers on the benefits of establishing and enforcing zero-tolerance drug policies and effectively documenting performance actions. The case is Caporicci v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., Eleventh Circuit Case No. 16-13494.   Like many employers, Chipotle has a drug policy, which prohibits any employee from reporting to work under the influence of alcohol, drugs or controlled substances, and also requires that employees who use medically prescribed or…

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05 Apr Accommodate Much? Restrictive Seventh Circuit Leave Ruling Lives On

  Letter of the Law: A Revival!  No employment lawyer worth her salt would choose anything other than “Accommodation” for the Letter A.  And so it begins….   HR professionals know all too well that the ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities.   While accommodations often include overcoming physical obstacles such as inaccessible workplace areas and unwieldy equipment, they more commonly pertain to workplace rules. For example, employers are asked to change when or where work is performed, leave…

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05 Apr Letter of the Law – A Revival!

  Some time ago, our dutiful leader over here at BT Currents, Bill Nolan, brought you a fun and clever series, Letter of the Law, highlighting current employment issues from A to Z.   Well it’s been some time (ok, more than just some – I am pretty sure I helped Bill with the series back when I was in law school) and we are bringing it back!   Needless to say, the letter of the law has changed since then – and because we…

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21 Aug Don’t Get Caught in the Weeds: Hiring Issues and Medical Marijuana

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 29 states have “comprehensive public medical marijuana and cannabis programs” and 16 states have more limited programs that allow for the use of “low THC, high cannabidiol” products for certain medical reasons. This legalization of medical marijuana has created challenges for employers and their hiring practices when many companies desire to have a zero-tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol in the workplace, especially for safety-sensitive positions.   The courts also have weighed in regarding employers’ decisions not…

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