Reasonable Accommodation

As employers continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic, they now face a new set of workforce challenges related to extreme weather and wildfires. Both are creating a challenging remote work environment due to: (1) recent evacuations; and (2) heat exposure risks linked to employees now forced to work in their homes with closed windows (and lack of proper air ventilation). Employers should consider preparing themselves for a further reduced workforce caused by such complications.
Continue Reading California Wildfires Increase Employer Concerns

On January 20, 2014, the Philadelphia Mayor enacted an amendment to the City Code that requires the city employers “to provide reasonable accommodations to an employee for needs related to
Continue Reading Philadelphia Law Creates New Employee Rights, Employer Obligations Concerning Pregnancy and Related Medical Conditions

New York City has adopted a new, higher standard that employers must meet if they decline to accommodate an employee’s religious observance or practice on the grounds that the accommodation would constitute an “undue hardship.” On August 30, 2011, Mayor Bloomberg signed Local Law 54, which amended the definition of undue hardship in the New York City Human Rights law to match the definition provided in the comparable state law.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Bill of 1964, as amended, requires employers to reasonably accommodate the religious practices of an employee or prospective employee, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship upon the employer. Under Title VII, an undue hardship occurs if the employer would incur anything other than minimal costs in accommodating an employee’s religious practices. The New York State Human Rights Law, however, provides that an employer may only be excused from the duty to accommodate the observance or practice if the accommodation would require “significant expense or difficulty.” Local Law 54 brings the standard for showing undue hardship up from the easier Title VII standard to the more onerous standard set by the New York State law.

Continue Reading New York City Adopts More Stringent Standard for Showing “Undue Hardship”