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It Begins: Arizona Restaurants/Bars Must Prepare for Tidal Wave of ADA Lawsuits

It Begins: Arizona Restaurants/Bars Must Prepare for Tidal Wave of ADA Lawsuits
By: Lindsay G. Leavitt Arizona is quickly joining the ranks of California, New York and Texas as a hotbed for lawsuits arising under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Last month, I blogged about (and have personally defended numerous hotel owners against) lawsuits filed by Theresa Brooke, a wheelchair bound Arizona woman who has sued more than 150 Arizona hotel owners for failing to provide wheelchair accessible pool lifts. Now, it appears another disabled serial plaintiff has...
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An Employee Suffering From Alcoholism Is Protected Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

An Employee Suffering From Alcoholism Is Protected Under the Americans with Disabilities Act
  By: Lindsay G. Leavitt After it was reported that USC football coach Steve Sarkisian had shown up intoxicated to a team meeting—and that he allegedly coached a game against ASU under the influence[1] —he was quickly fired.  What many employers need to understand, however, is that alcoholism is considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Every employer knows that it can’t discriminate against and must provide reasonable accommodations to a...
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Disabled Woman Sues More Than 100 Arizona Hotels for Failing to Provide Wheelchair Access to Pools/H...

By Lindsay G. Leavitt Theresa Brooke, a wheelchair bound Arizona woman, has in the past several months filed more than 100 lawsuits against Arizona hotel owners for failing to provide wheelchair pool lifts. Her M.O. is simple. Ms. Brooke (or her attorney/representative) calls a hotel and inquires whether it has a wheelchair pool lift. If the hotel replies that it doesn’t, Ms. Brooke will file a lawsuit. Some hotels have filed motions to dismiss, arguing that Ms. Brooke has no standing to...
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Medical Marijuana in the Arizona Workplace

By Lindsay G. Leavitt With the enactment of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (“AMMA”) in 2010, the number of medical marijuana card holders in Arizona is over 65,000 and growing.[1] Chances are your business does or will employ one of them. This article will answer the five most pressing questions facing Arizona employers with the goal of helping them avoid the legal weeds[2] surrounding medical marijuana in the workplace. 1. Can employers discipline or refuse to hire an...
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U.S. Supreme Court Questions Abercrombie & Fitch’s “Look Policy”

By: Kami M. Hoskins On June 1, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) issued its decision reversing the Tenth Circuit’s award of summary judgment in favor of Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. in the closely watched employment discrimination case.  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended (“Title VII”) provides for two types of religious discrimination in employment claims: (i) disparate treatment, also known as “intentional discrimination”; and...
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An Innocuous Audit That Has The Potential to Create Enormous Liability: Arizona’s Department of Econ...

A tax audit letter from a government agency can sink even the hardiest of business owner’s stomach. Yet, a tax audit letter from the Department of Economic Security (DES) may not create the same sense of dread. These audits typically involve low dollar amounts, which may lure business owners into a false sense of security. However, a DES audit should put business owners on high alert. Although the dollar amounts may be low, a determination by DES that a business’ independent contractors are...
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The NLRB’s Latest Do’s and Don’ts of Employer Handbooks

By John G. Sestak, Jr. In recent years, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has launched a new approach with respect to employer/employee relations by studying employer handbooks to determine whether they violate the rules protecting concerted activity. On March 18, 2015, NLRB General Counsel Richard F. Griffin, Jr. issued a report and Memorandum[1] offering “guidance” on various provisions of employer handbooks in his hope that employers review their handbooks and rules to ensure...
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