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Verrill Dana, LLP

Verrill Dana, LLP is one of New England's preeminent regional law firms. With offices in Portland and Augusta, ME; Boston, MA; Westport, CT; Providence, RI; and Washington D.C. Verrill Dana provides sophisticated legal representation to businesses and individuals in the traditional areas of litigation, real estate, business law, labor and employment law, employee benefits, environmental law, intellectual property and estate planning.  The Firm also has industry-focused specialties including higher education, health care and health technology, energy, and timberlands. 

Disclaimer:  The content presented in this blog is for general information only, is not intended to constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon by any person as legal advice. While we welcome you to contact our blog authors at, the submission of a comment or question does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Firm and you. 

Entries in Reasonable Accommodation (2)


Reasonable Accomodations and Using Arrest and Conviction Records In The Hiring Process: EEOC To Hold Public Meeting To Discuss These Issues

On April 25, the EEOC will hold a public meeting in Washington D.C. to discuss the legality of employer's consideration of an applicant's arrest and conviction record when making hiring decisions.  At this same meeting, the EEOC also plans to offer guidance on reasonable accommodations and undue hardship under the ADA.  It is expected that the EEOC will offer additional, and perhaps written guidance, on these topics at the meeting or shortly after the April meeting.

In 2011 the EEOC's office of Legal Counsel issued a non-binding advisory opinion on employer use of arrest and conviction records during the hiring process.  The opinions not only reaffirmed the EEOC's  interest in employer background checks, they also outlined the EEOC's current thinking on the subject.  Specifically:

  • The EEOC will continue to draw a distinction between arrest and conviction records;
  • The EEOC is not yet prepared to adopt a presumption of disparate impact when employers use arrest (or conviction) records in the hiring process; and
  • The EEOC encouraged employers to make sure their criminal background checks related to the job duties for the position in question.

The EEOC also a public meeting in June 2011 to discuss reasonable accommodations and leaves of absence under the ADA.  The EEOC indicated in that meeting that it would be releasing further enforcement guidance on that issue, but has not yet done so. 


Attendance, Essential Job Functions, and Reasonable Accommodations: First Circuit Adds “Flexible Work Schedule” Wrinkle to Traditional Analysis

The First and other circuits have long held that attendance is an essential function of any job.  The recent case of Valle-Arce v. Puerto Rico Ports Authority, 651 F.3d 190 (1st Cir. 2011), adds a new wrinkle to that line of authority and raises questions regarding the scope of an employer’s duty to accommodate disabled employees under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  Specifically, the Valle-Arce decision addresses the degree to which the ADA may require employers to provide flexible work schedules that address a disabled employees’ inability to adhere to a fixed work schedule.

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