Another employer was found to unlawfully discriminate against an employee who was fired because of her disability. The employee suffered from post-partum depression, a condition the employee made known to the company, Midwest ISO, a Carmel, Indiana.-based power grid operator for much of the Midwest. The company refused to grant the employee’s request for some leave time to help her deal with the condition, according to the EEOC. As we know, the ADA requires an employer to provide a reasonable accommodation of an employee’s disability, unless the employer would suffer an undue hardship as a result.
It’s clear that the ADAAA requires a broad interpretation of the definition of disability. Post-partum depression is considered a mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. The new EEOC guidelines now state that the threshold issue of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity shouldn't demand extensive analysis. An impairment does not need to prevent or severely or significantly restrict a major life activity to be considered “substantially limiting.” When in doubt, it’s a good business practice to engage in a conversation with the employee to find out what type of accommodation is needed. In this case, the employer didn’t successfully prove to the EEOC that providing the requested leave would create an undue hardship on the company.
This information should not be construed as “legal advice” for a particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject. Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.