Please be advised that contacting Ruder Ware by e-mail does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you contact the firm by e-mail with respect to a matter where the firm does not already represent you, any information which you disclose to us may not be regarded as privileged or confidential.


Accept   Cancel

Please be advised that contacting Ruder Ware by e-mail does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you contact the firm by e-mail with respect to a matter where the firm does not already represent you, any information which you disclose to us may not be regarded as privileged or confidential.


Accept   Cancel

PAL Login

linkedin.jpgyoutube.jpgvimeo.jpgtwitter_off.png View Ruder Ware

Employment Blog

Can You Require An Employee To Be At Work?

Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Posted on January 9, 2013
Filed under Employment

I am often asked whether attendance at work can be considered an essential requirement of a particular job. Logic would suggest the answer to that question, but of course, court decisions would suggest differently.

A recent decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals related to an employee who suffered a serious medical condition that limited the employees sleep and caused chronic pain. The employee sought to be relieved from the strict attendance policy of her employer. When the company did not provide extra accommodation, the employee sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the company was required to show that attendance was an essential function of the job, but the Court also acknowledged a number of prior court cases that held that an employee must be at work in order to be part of a team. The Court ultimately held that because of the nature of the job performed by the employee, the employee must be at work. The Court did acknowledge that other jobs could be viewed differently if the job could be performed from home or there was not an established requirement for teamwork with other employees in order for the job to be properly performed.

Employers must be careful when establishing attendance policies to make sure they are reasonably related to the jobs being performed by each of its employees.