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Tuesday Link Roundup

With no big news this week (other than the never-ending
shutdown), here are some interesting articles and links.  With FY 2013 ending last month, the
Employment Discrimination Report has a statistical look at how the EEOC managed
its enforcement efforts during the past 12 months.  True to predictions and the agency’s
Strategic Enforcement Plan, during the past year about a third of the EEOC’s
cases were related to the ADA, and another third were related to sex and pregnancy
discrimination cases
.  While the EEOC
p romised a wide area of enforcement (and some criminal background check cases
have been quite noteworthy) the agency does seems to be focused on a couple
particular areas.

In the world of strange cases, a teacher sued under the ADA
on the grounds that stress and anxiety about possibly being fired was a
disability that her school was required to accommodate
.  The anxiety and stress stemmed from a poor
performance report that noted deficiencies in her classroom methods and
recommended improvements.  At the end of
the performance review period the school did not recommend renewing the
teacher’s contract, and she responded by taking a medical leave of absence for
the remainder of the school year.
According to the U.S. District Court for South Dakota, a disability
could even include anxiety and depression about possibly getting fired.  The Court noted that given the ADAAA’s
relaxed disability standards, the teacher had met the prima facie case of
demonstrating a disability, and could move forward with her attempt to
demonstrate that the school did not appropriately accommodate her disability
(fear and anxiety related to possibly being fired).

Finally, checking back in with the Minnesota
Orchestra, the musicians last Saturday voted to reject management’s fourth
contract proposal
.  The rejected contract
would have resulted in a substantial pay and benefits decrease, but would have
included a signing bonus donated by local groups. The Orchestra announced that
it was forced to cancel two concerts scheduled for Carnegie hall in early
November, and the director of the orchestra, Osmo Vanska, resigned in response
to the cancellation
of the Carnegie hall concerts.  The orchestra has stated that since the time
pressure has been removed negotiations will likely stall for several months,
leaving little hope that the musicians and management will come to an agreement
in the near future, and leaving one of the country’s leading groups sidelined
for the indefinite future.

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