WASHINGTON, DC — United States Rep. Timothy Waltz (D-MN), along with over 30 bipartisan co-sponsors, has introduced legislation, HR 5520: The VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018, to facilitate federally-sponsored clinical research into the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis among veterans. The legislation states: “In carrying out the responsibilities of the Secretary of Veterans […]
WASHINGTON, DC — Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will soon introduce a bill to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. In a video tweet posted on Vice News, Leader Schumer says: “I’ll be introducing legislation to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, from one end of the country to the other.” BREAKING: Senator Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) changes position and says […]
LIMA, PERU — Lawmakers have approved legislation to oversee the production and regulation of certain cannabis-derived oil products. Passage of the measure comes months after lawmakers had depenalized activities specific to the medical use of cannabis for “serious and terminal diseases.” Regulators have 60 days to iron out the details of the new program. Other South American […]
WASHINGTON, DC — A bipartisan group of U.S. senators and representatives is introducing comprehensive medical marijuana legislation on Thursday. The move comes just days after the revelation that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent a letter to Congressional leaders requesting the deletion of a current budget rider preventing the Justice Department from interfering with state […]
CARSON CITY, NV — Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has signed legislation, Assembly Bill 135, amending the state’s traffic safety law so that it is no longer a per se offense for a driver to operate a motor vehicle with trace levels of carboxy-THC in his or her urine. Carboxy-THC is a non-psychoactive metabolite of THC that […]
SALEM, OR — Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed legislation into law this week limiting the ability of government officials to obtain data identifying customers who purchase marijuana at state-licensed retail facilities. Voters legalized the commercial production and retail sales of cannabis in November 2014. Retail sales of cannabis to those age 21 or older began in […]
WASHINGTON, DC — Senator Ron Wyden and Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Jared Polis have introduced legislation in the House and Senate — to permit states to establish their own marijuana regulatory policies free from federal interference. In addition to removing marijuana from the United States Controlled Substances Act, this legislation also removes enforcement power from […]
Measures filed in the House and Senate on Thursday would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and create a federal regulatory process for states that choose to regulate the cultivation and sale of marijuana for adult use Additional bills filed in the House and Senate on Thursday would eliminate many of the collateral consequences […]
Medicinal cannabis a step closer with legislation to allow cultivation
A worker with cannabis plants to be used in pharmaceuticals at a farm near the northern Israeli town of Safed. Medicinal cannabis products are mostly imported to Australia in the absence of a nationally consistent licensing scheme for growers …
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Many employers encounter a big surprise when confronting a law that dramatically expands the number of people protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The legislation, called the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), broadly defines a disability to include physical or mental impairments such as high blood pressure, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine headaches and other conditions which can be mitigated through medication. Under the ADAAA, all impairments (even if corrected with medication or other devices) are covered and protected under the ADA. The only exception is for imperfect eyesight that can be corrected with eyeglasses or other lenses.
While the ADAAA is viewed as good for employees struggling with disabilities, it’s also viewed as a challenge for employers.
The ADA covers all private employers, state and local governments and education institutions that employ 15 or more people — prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities who are qualified for a job.
Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for all qualified individuals with a disability unless doing so would cause the employer an undue hardship. Reasonable accommodations may range from granting extended leave or flexible hours to an employee to replacing fluorescent lighting or purchasing ergonomic work stations.
The challenge is determining what is reasonable. Obviously, the larger the employer, the higher the expectations. To protect themselves, employers should
Review job descriptions to be sure they cover all needed aspects of each specific function. Such descriptions will serve as an employer’s defense should a disability keep an employee from performing the necessary duties required for his or her job.
Respond quickly and proactively if an employee presents with an obvious disability or notifies the employer of a disability. Be careful and diligent to ensure the disability plays no role in hiring, promoting, firing and other employment-related decisions.
Keep updated policy and procedure manuals, especially as they pertain to addressing employees’ requests for accommodations.
Engage in interactive dialogues with employees who request accommodations.
Keep detailed records of accommodations requests, including how each request is handled and the reasons for decisions made.
The law may seem intimidating for employers, but most will be protected by remembering two key points: (1) if an employee with a disability can perform all of his or her essential job functions, employers should do their best to accommodate him or her; and (2) if accommodating an employee would create a substantial hardship that can be measured and quantified, the employer may have grounds for denying the accommodation.
Originally appeared in the River Valley Business Report.
Thomas H. Taylor is an attorney with Johns, Flaherty & Collins, SC, (http://www.johnsflaherty.com), a full-service law firm based in La Crosse, Wis. According to the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, Johns, Flaherty & Collins, SC, has more top-rated lawyers than any other La Crosse law firm.