Joan S. Farrell, JD, is a Senior Legal Editor for BLR’s human resources and employment law publications. Ms. Farrell writes extensively on the topics of workplace discrimination, unlawful harassment, retaliation, and reasonable accommodation. She is the editor of the ADA compliance manual—ADA Compliance: Practical Solutions for HR. Before coming to BLR, Ms. Farrell worked as in-house counsel for a multistate employer where she represented management in administrative matters and provided counseling on employment practices.
Interview: See Joan’s interview with the Illinois State Register-Journal on social media and sexual harassment.
Video: Watch Joan's recent video on the ADA and employee discipline.
Employers often face difficult decisions when an employee who is, or has been, a great worker appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs while at work. It’s important to point out that while the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects individuals with alcoholism—it does not protect individuals who show up to work under the influence of alcohol.
Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision requiring all states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Kim Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky, made national news when she refused to issue licenses, claiming that same-sex marriage violates her religious beliefs. While the Davis scenario attracted more attention than most employee requests for religious accommodation, it’s worth taking a look at what’s required by employers when an employee requests an accommodation for religious beliefs.
In a recent 9th Circuit case of disability discrimination, brought by an employee who was fired after making death threats against coworkers, the court pointed out that the ability to appropriately handle stress and interact with others is an essential function of almost every job
Stereotypes run across the spectrum of characteristics. For employers, the effect of each employee’s biases and preconceived notions can lead to a raft of workplace problems. Employers can increase awareness of how stereotyping can affect decision-making and performance evaluations. Here are some steps employers can take.
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