Wyatt Employment Law Report


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Long-Term Leave Not a Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA… According to the Seventh Circuit

medical leave request

By Michael D. Hornback

The intersection between the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) is sticky, at best.  Over the years, partners in my Firm and I have received phone calls that go something like this: “Hey, Lawyer.  I have an employee who has been off work dealing with [insert medical condition].  He is supposed to be back next week, but now he is saying he needs more time off to deal with [aforementioned medical condition].  What do I do?”  Good question.  And the answer is not always clear.

This is precisely the set of circumstances the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals considered in Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc., — F.3d —, 2017 WL 4160849 (Sept. 20, 2017).  The short version of the opinion is that in the Seventh Circuit, long-term leave is not a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.  The Seventh Circuit Continue reading


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Seventh Circuit Rejects Claim of Sexual Orientation Discrimination

By Jordan M. White

rainbow flagJust last year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) ruled that sexual orientation discrimination is unlawful under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.  On July 28, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rejected the EEOC’s determination and ruled that Title VII does not protect employees from workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  In Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, Kimberly Hively, a part-time adjunct professor, claimed that she was denied full-time employment and promotions because she was a lesbian.  Hively began her teaching career at Ivy Tech in 2000.  Between 2009 and 2014, she applied for six full-time positions. She alleged that the college never even interviewed her for any of those positions, despite having the necessary qualifications and a record of positive work performance evaluations.

In December 2013, Hively filed a charge with the EEOC, alleging that she had been discriminated against on the basis of her sexual orientation and had been “blocked from full-time employment without just cause.”  Ivy Tech did not renew her part-time employment contract in July 2014 and she filed suit.  Ivy Tech successfully argued at Continue reading