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Weekly Link Roundup Looks at ADA Accommodations and Social Media Privacy

Here are some links to interesting articles from this past
week, along with a little commentary.

First, the Ohio Employer’s Law Blog looks at developments
from the continuing debate regarding how much access employers should have to
employee’s social media sites and posts

The article is in reaction to a recent bill proposed in the Ohio state
legislature that would prohibit employers from asking employees to provide
passwords to their social media accounts. 
The post skeptically wonders whether such a bill would correct any
wrongdoing, despite testimony from an ACLU representative regarding the need
for such legislation, and wonders whether the problem is illusory and one that
has been “trumped up by the news media and special interest groups.” As we have
covered here, there does seem to be national concern regarding this practice,
and it also seems curious to me that an attorney who represents employers would
be so worried about a law if it wasn’t likely to have any effect.  If employers aren’t doing it anyways, why
worry if it is banned?  Seems to me that
if it didn’t affect my practice, I wouldn’t be all that concerned about how the
state legislature spends (or wastes) its time.

The Wisconsin Labor and Employment Law Blog has an
interesting look at how leave can qualify as a reasonable accommodation under
the ADA given that the EEOC has taken a harsh view of employers with attendance
policies who require employees to be present after they use up FMLA leave
.  In many cases the EEOC has prosecuted an
employer for not allowing an employee to stay off work after using his or her 12
weeks of FMLA leave, citing this additional leave as a reasonable accommodation.  In August the 9th Circuit held
that leave was not a reasonable accommodation, and that attendance could be
classified as an “essential job function” under the ADA.  Given that there is a divergence in opinions
about this issue, employers should be careful to try to resolve potential leave
problems with employees before resorting to litigation.

Finally, the New York Attorney General issued a
stern warning to the NFL following rumors that many draft prospects were
questioned regarding their sexual orientation

The AG reminded the NFL that Title VII and corollary state laws ban
discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and asked that the league
clarify its position.  Given the
increasing discussion regarding sexual orientation and sports, the NFL needs to
be careful to ensure that teams are abiding by the law and choosing players
based on the only factor that counts- their ability to play football at a high
level.