The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

Reasonable Accommodation, Political Discrimination and Protected Class – Oh My!

Does the ADA require as a reasonable accommodation the automatic transfer of an employee who becomes disabled and is no longer able to perform the essential elements of his/her job to a vacant, equivalent or lesser job for which he/she is qualified if one exists?

Is a law school dean individually liable under the Civil Rights Act of 1871 for political discrimination in accepting the recommendation of two faculty committees to not hire an existing part-time lecturer for a position for which she was qualified, where the applicant was a vocal Republican and only one of the 50 law school professors was a registered Republican?

Is discrimination against breast feeding women a violation of Title VII prohibition against sex discrimination? Is a complaint of discrimination based on gender identity, change of sex and/or transgender status actionable under Title VII?

These are just a few of the questions that CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard answered in his annual conference session entitled “10 Most Important Higher Ed Labor and Employment Cases of 2012” (side note — as it turned out, he couldn’t pick just 10, so he actually covered 12).

Ira also covered all 12 of these cases in various Legal Watch columns that have appeared in the CUPA-HR eNews over the past year. If you didn’t make his session at the conference, or even if you did but you’d like more background information on these important court cases, you can find an overview of all 12 here.