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BusinessSafe - Law for Business

ADA - Part 1: Monitoring Spiritual and Mental Health Without Violating the ADA

A new Sixth Circuit case, Kroll v. White Lake Ambulance Authority, decided on August 22, 2012, potentially raises a new set of problems for churches and mission organizations. Requiring employees to get mental health counseling is likely a violation of the Americans with Disabilities except in certain narrow circumstances. Religious organizations should consider what circumstances apply and be prepared. 

The Last Straw Better Not Be Religious

Nyaboga v. Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, a recent unpublished case from the Minnesota Court of Appeals, discusses whether an employee was fired for legitimate reasons or for religious reasons. Nyaboga was fired, then she sued over whether she was entitled to unemployment benefits. She had worked as a nurse, and asked not to be scheduled for Saturday shifts when she got more serious about her religious beliefs as a Seventh-Day Adventist. Her employer required her to find people to replace her on that shift (which the Court hinted might have been a separate problem, but was not discussed in the opinion). By the time Nyaboga lost her job, she had been tardy 58 times and warned repeatedly. She was warned that she would lose her job if she were absent one more time or tardy two more times.

What is the Real Women’s Rights Problem?

Theresa Lynn in the kitchenEach side in the debate over the mandate for insurance for reproductive services grapples with a real problem, but the mandate is only a symbolic solution to the underlying women’s rights issue. The HHS mandate requires businesses, including many religious institutions, to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives and some abortifacients. Religious institutions that are morally opposed but not exempt deeply oppose the mandate. The reality is that the mandate creates a free exercise problem without solving a genuine women’s rights issue.

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