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Thread: Supreme Court to consider company obligations to disabled employees

  1. #1

    Supreme Court to consider company obligations to disabled employees

    Supreme Court to consider company obligations to disabled employees

    By Associated Press, 10/1/2002 12:25
    WASHINGTON (AP) The Supreme Court said Tuesday that it will clarify when some companies are small enough to avoid complying with a law requiring wheelchair ramps and other accommodations for the disabled.

    An Oregon medical clinic is challenging a ruling that it must follow the law because it has more than 15 employees.

    At issue is whether company shareholders in this case, four doctors also count as employees.

    The clinic was sued by an 11-year employee who was fired in 1997. The worker claimed she was discriminated against because of a disability, a debilitating tissue disorder. Deborah Anne Wells was demoted, then pressured to resign because of her illness, her attorney told the court.

    Wells filed suit under the landmark 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, which protects people with disabilities from discrimination.

    Congress exempted small companies from the law. A split appeals court said that the doctor owners were also employees, and that their business does not qualify as a small company.

    Steven W. Seymour, the attorney for Clackamas Gastroenterology Associates, told the court that the outcome will affect small businesses nationwide.

    ''Professional corporations with between 15 and 19 employees are likely to find themselves caught in the gray zone between small and large employer categories,'' Seymour said in a filing.

    The Supreme Court heard four cases involving the ADA last year. All four rulings went against the disabled.

    The case is Clackamas Gastroenterology Associates v. Wells, 01-1435.

    http://www.boston.com/dailynews/274/...er_comp:.shtml

  2. #2

    Medicare/Medicaid

    Correct me if I am wrong but any office that accepts medicaid/medicare is suppose to be accessible. We all know that the definition of "accessible is questionable, but a ramp, door width, etc shouldd be provided.

    "Don't worry about the world coming to an end today.
    It's already tomorrow in Australia!"----- Charles Schultz


  3. #3
    Author Topic: テつ* High Court to Rule On Disabilities Act
    Max

    Member posted Oct 02, 2002 04:01 PM テつ*
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    High Court to Rule On Disabilities Act
    Size of 'Small' Companies at Issue


    From News Services
    Wednesday, October 2, 2002; Page A10


    The Supreme Court said yesterday that it will clarify when some companies are small enough to avoid complying with a law requiring wheelchair ramps and other accommodations for the disabled.

    An Oregon medical clinic is challenging a ruling that it must follow the law because it has more than 15 employees. At issue is whether company shareholders -- four doctors -- also count as employees.

    The clinic was sued by an employee who was fired in 1997. The worker claimed she was discriminated against because of a debilitating tissue disorder. Deborah Anne Wells was demoted, then pressured to resign because of her illness, her attorney told the court.

    Wells filed suit under the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act, which protects people with disabilities from discrimination. Small companies were exempted under the law. A split appeals court said the doctor-owners were also employees, and that their business does not qualify as a small company.

    Steven W. Seymour, the attorney for Clackamas Gastroenterology Associates, said the outcome will affect small businesses nationwide.

    The case is Clackamas Gastroenterology Associates v. Wells, No. 01-1435.

    Another case the court agreed to hear involved Joseph Massaro, described by federal prosecutors as a "soldier" in the Luchese crime family until his arrest in 1992.

    At issue for the high court is whether Massaro can, in a later appeal, raise claims of ineffective assistance of counsel after failing to make the argument in his first direct appeal challenging his conviction for conspiracy, murder, loan-sharking and other charges. Massaro was convicted of the 1990 murder of a racketeering associate, Joseph Fiorito, for failing to turn over gambling proceeds and other money. Massaro was sentenced to life in prison. After the trial had started, prosecutors informed Massaro's lawyer that a bullet had been found in Fiorito's car, and that it matched the bullet fragments found in Fiorito's head. The judge offered Massaro's lawyer a delay to examine the evidence and adjust his defense strategy if necessary.

    The lawyer declined, saying the damage to his defense theory that the shooting had not taken place in the car was irreparable.

    Massaro sought to overturn his conviction in 1997, arguing his lawyer gave ineffective assistance by failing to seek a delay.

    In another case, the Supreme Court will decide what triggers a 1996 federal law limiting inmate appeals in death penalty cases.

    Most appeals courts have held the law applies if the petition was filed after the law's effective date of April 24, 1996. But a court in California said the law does not apply on the effective date if a motion for appointment of counsel or a stay of execution was made before then.

    The case involves Robert Garceau, who was sentenced to death for the stabbing deaths of his girlfriend and her son in 1984.



    テつゥ 2002 The Washington Post Company

    ==============================
    "It was once written "To thine own self be true". But how do we know who we really are? Every man must confront the monster within himself, if he is ever to find peace without. .." Outer Limits(Monster)



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    Posts: 2669テつ*|テつ*From: Montreal,Province of Quebec, CANADAテつ*|テつ*Registered: Jul 25, 2001
    Max

    Member posted Oct 02, 2002 04:02 PM テつ*
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Small-Business Bias Case Draws Top U.S. Court Review (Update1)
    Small-Business Bias Case Draws Top U.S. Court Review (Update1)
    By Greg Stohr


    Washington, Oct. 1 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider whether thousands of small businesses are bound by the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal job- discrimination statutes.

    The justices will hear an appeal by an Oregon medical clinic that says it is exempt from the disabilities law because it has fewer than 15 employees. Clackamas Gastroenterology Associates contends an appeals court was wrong to count as employees the four doctors who own the business.

    The case will affect the rights of workers across the country. Almost 430,000 employers have 15 to 19 workers, according to U.S. Small Business Administration statistics.

    Those companies ``are likely to find themselves caught in the gray zone between small and large employer categories created by the ADA,'' the clinic said in urging the Supreme Court to hear the case.

    Without the four doctors, Clackamas Gastroenterology would have only 13 or 14 employees. The clinic argues that the four doctors should be treated as partners, even though their business is set up as a corporation rather than a partnership.

    Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, partners don't count toward the 15-employee threshold. Other federal discrimination statutes have similar rules.

    The justices added the case to their argument calendar in advance of Monday's formal start of their 2002-03 term, which already is laden with business cases.

    The justices on Tuesday will consider a fight between wireless phone company NextWave Telecom Inc. and the U.S. government over airwaves once valued at almost $16 billion. The following day the court will consider overturning a law that extends millions of copyrights for 20 years.

    Receptionist Position

    The clinic is fighting a suit by former employee Deborah Anne Wells, who suffers from a debilitating condition known as mixed connective tissue disorder. Wells says Clackamas Gastroenterology transferred her to a receptionist position in office where she was unable to work, then fired her when she refused to report.

    The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to make ``reasonable accommodations'' so that disabled workers can hold down jobs.

    Wells argues that the doctors opted not to organize as a partnership, which carries greater risk of personal liability than a corporation, and must accept the consequences of that decision.

    ``Having elected to exist as a corporation, with corporate employees rather than partners,'' the clinic ``should be held to that election,'' Wells said in court papers.

    The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to let Wells's suit go forward. The panel rejected a request by the clinic to apply an ``economics realities'' test to determine whether the doctors are more like employees or partners.

    The 9th Circuit ruling ``exalts form over substance,'' the clinic argued in its appeal.

    The justices will rule by the end of June in the case, Clackamas Gastroenterology Associates v. Wells, 01-1435.

    ==============================
    "It was once written "To thine own self be true". But how do we know who we really are? Every man must confront the monster within himself, if he is ever to find peace without. .." Outer Limits(Monster)



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    Posts: 2669テつ*|テつ*From: Montreal,Province of Quebec, CANADAテつ*|テつ*Registered: Jul 25, 2001

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