November 2012

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits a covered employer from requiring an employee to undergo a “medical examination,” unless the examination is shown to be job-related and consistent with business necessity. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that an employer’s demand that an employee seek psychological counseling as a condition of continued employment may constitute a violation of the ADA.

In Kroll v White Lake Ambulance Authority, Case No. 10-2348 (6th Cir. 2012), the plaintiff, Emily Kroll, was an Emergency Medical Technician for White Lake Ambulance Authority (WLAA). She had an affair with a married co-worker and began to exhibit stress and anger at work. Several co-workers expressed to management concern for her well-being. On one occasion, while transporting a patient in emergency status, she was screaming at someone on her telephone. WLAA questioned whether Kroll could perform her job safely and told her that she must attend counseling in order to continue working. There was a dispute whether WLAA required that the counseling be psychological in nature. Kroll refused to seek counseling and did not return to work at WLAA. Continue Reading Requiring Employee to Seek Counseling May Violate ADA

In a recent decision involving The Boeing Company1, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found that Boeing violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when the Human Resources manager at its North Charleston, South Carolina plant, told an employee that he could not “talk about or solicit” for the Machinists’ Union “on company time.” The employee asserted that a supervisor had reported to the HR manager that employees had overheard the employee speaking about the Union on company time.

The employee admitted that he was aware of the Company policy providing that he could speak with employees before and after work, and during lunch and break times, provided that those to whom he was speaking also were on break or lunch times. According to the employee, however, the HR manager told him that she wanted to “make sure he was aware of that and asked him to repeat after her that he would not talk about the Union on Company time.” Continue Reading Check Your Enforcement of Your “No Solicitation and No Distribution” Rule