NDNY Holds NY DOCS Sick-Leave Policy Unlawful
In Fountain v. New York State Dep't of Correctional Services, 2005 WL 1502146 (N.D.N.Y., June 23, 2005), the district court held that a portion of the defendant employer's sick-leave policy violated Title I of the ADA. The plaintiffs challenged the defendant's policy that required all employees who returned from more than three days of sick leave to submit a statement from a doctor including a brief diagnosis of the employee's illness. Granting summary judgment to the plaintiffs, the district court ruled that the policy, which posed medical inquiries to incumbent employees, was not "job-related and consistent with business necessity" as required by 42 U.S.C. 12112(d)(4)(A). Although the court recognized that the defendant had strong interests in assuring that corrections officers were fit for duty and in preventing the spread of communicable diseases within their facilities, it held that the three-day diagnosis requirement did not meaningfully serve those interests.