The legal issue in this case was that plaintiff Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and plaintiff-intervener Ahmet Yigit Demirelli sought relief against Demirelli's former employer, Convergys Customer Management Group, Inc. They alleged that Convergys failed to accommodate Demirelli's disability which was in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12112(a). A jury found for the plaintiffs, awarding Demirelli lost wages and compensatory damages. The district court denied Convergys motions for judgment as a matter of law and for remitter. Convergys appeals. We affirm.
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The employees' proposed accommodation was deemed reasonable because in this case it did not require the employer (Convergys) to eliminate any essential function or component of the job. Thus Convergys did not put forth any measures or evidence to show that its punctuality element would be eliminated by extending Demirelli's lunch break by 15 min. although the district court determined and agreed that punctuality was an essential job function, the record evidence in this case is clear that Demirelli requested an extra 15 minutes to return from his lunch break in order to fulfill this essential job function, this would merely create a different time for Demirelli to return from his lunch break.
According to 42 U.S.C. s 12111(9) (B), some other reasonable accommodations could have included job restructuring, part time working or modified work schedules that could have fit Demirellis condition and willingness to work. Thus in the case between EEOC v. Convergys Customer Management Group an assigned parking place and workspace were other potential reasonable accommodations. This problem could have been easily avoided if the employer could have first analyzed the relevant job and the specific limitations imposed by the Demerelli disability and then, in consultation with the individual identify potential effective accommodations.
Bachelder v. America West Airlines
In the legal case between Bachelder v. America West Airlines, Penny Bachelder claims that her employer, America West Airlines , violated the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 ("FMLA" or "the Act") when it terminated her in 1996 for poor attendance. The district court granted partial summary judgment to America west, holding that Bachelder was not entitled to the Act's protection for her 1996 absences. Bachelder also appeals from the district court's subsequent finding, after a bench trial, that, in deciding to fire her, America west did not impermissibly consider FMLA-protected leave that she took in 1994 and 1995. This appeal requires us to interpret both the Act and the regulations issued pursuant to it by the Department of Labor.
The following errors were made by America West after the termination letter prepared by the supervisor dismissed Bachelder's sickness and fired her, (1) that she had been absent from work 16 times since being cautioned about her attendance in mid-January; (2) that she had failed promptly to carry out her responsibilities for administering her department's Employee of the Month program; and (3) her personal on-time performance and the on-time performance in the section of the airport for which she was responsible were below par.
Hence in order for the employers to comply with the FMLA the Congress made it unlawful for an employer to "interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of or the attempt to exercise, any right provided" by the Act. 29 U.S.C. s 2615(a) (1), thus the regulations explain that this prohibition requires an employer's consideration of an employee's use of FMLA-covered leave in making adverse employment decisions, whereby employers cannot use the taking of FMLA leave as a negative factor in employment actions, such as hiring, promotions or disciplinary actions; nor can FMLA leave be counted under "no fault" attendance policies.
The no - fault attendance policies are always in conflict with the FMLA because this rule is a reasonable interpretation of the statute's prohibition on "interference with" and "restraint of" employee's rights under the FMLA. (29 C.F.R. s 825.220(c)). Due to the fact the that the court selected the calendar year as the most favorable to Bachelder, the leave year method of the remaining three would also have entitled Bachelder to leave for her 1996 absences, it's a hybrid method, unique to each employee. See 29 C.F.R. s 825.200(c) ("Under the method in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, an employee would be entitled to 12 weeks of leave during the year beginning on the first date FMLA leave is taken; the next 12-month period would begin the first time FMLA leave is taken after completion of any previous 12-month period.").