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111.34 Disability; exceptions and special cases.

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111.34111.34Disability; exceptions and special cases.111.34(1)(1)Employment discrimination because of disability includes, but is not limited to: 111.34(1)(a)(a) Contributing a lesser amount to the fringe benefits, including life or disability insurance coverage, of any employee because of the employee's disability; or 111.34(1)(b)(b) Refusing to reasonably accommodate an employee's or prospective employee's disability unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would pose a hardship on the employer's program, enterprise or business. 111.34(2)(2)111.34(2)(a)(a) Notwithstanding s. 111.322, it is not employment discrimination because of disability to refuse to hire, employ, admit or license any individual, to bar or terminate from employment, membership or licensure any individual, or to discriminate against any individual in promotion, compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment if the disability is reasonably related to the individual's ability to adequately undertake the job-related responsibilities of that individual's employment, membership or licensure. 111.34(2)(b)(b) In evaluating whether an individual with a disability can adequately undertake the job-related responsibilities of a particular job, membership or licensed activity, the present and future safety of the individual, of the individual's coworkers and, if applicable, of the general public may be considered. However, this evaluation shall be made on an individual case-by-case basis and may not be made by a general rule which prohibits the employment or licensure of individuals with disabilities in general or a particular class of individuals with disabilities. 111.34(2)(c)(c) If the employment, membership or licensure involves a special duty of care for the safety of the general public, including but not limited to employment with a common carrier, this special duty of care may be considered in evaluating whether the employee or applicant can adequately undertake the job-related responsibilities of a particular job, membership or licensed activity. However, this evaluation shall be made on an individual case-by-case basis and may not be made by a general rule which prohibits the employment or licensure of individuals with disabilities in general or a particular class of individuals with disabilities. 111.34 - ANNOT.History: 1981 c. 334; 1997 a. 112. 111.34 - ANNOT.The utilization of federal regulations as a hiring standard, although not applicable to the employing taxi company, demonstrated a rational relationship to the safety obligations imposed on the employer, and its use was not the result of an arbitrary belief lacking in objective reason or rationale. Boynton Cab Co. v. DILHR, 96 Wis. 2d 396, 291 N.W.2d 850 (1980). 111.34 - ANNOT.An employee handicapped by alcoholism was properly discharged under s. 111.32 (5) (f), 1973 Stats., (a predecessor to this section) for inability to efficiently perform job duties. Squires v. LIRC, 97 Wis. 2d 648, 294 N.W.2d 48 (Ct. App. 1980). 111.34 - ANNOT.Small stature is not a handicap. American Motors Corp. v. LIRC, 114 Wis. 2d 288, 338 N.W.2d 518 (Ct. App. 1983); aff'd, 119 Wis. 2d 706, 350 N.W.2d 120 (1984). 111.34 - ANNOT.Physical standards for school bus operators established under s. 343.12 (2) (g) are not exempt from the requirements of sub. (2) (b). Bothum v. Department of Transportation, 134 Wis. 2d 378, 396 N.W.2d 785 (Ct. App. 1986). 111.34 - ANNOT.The duty to reasonably accommodate under sub. (1) (b) is to be broadly interpreted and may involve the transfer of an individual from one job to another. What is reasonable will depend on the facts of the case. McMullen v. LIRC, 148 Wis. 2d 270, 434 N.W.2d 270 (Ct. App. 1986). 111.34 - ANNOT.To avail itself of the defense under sub. (2) that an ostensibly safety-based employment restriction is job-related, an employer bears the burden of proving to a reasonable probability that the restriction is necessary to prevent harm to the employee or others. Racine Unified School District v. LIRC, 164 Wis. 2d 567, 476 N.W.2d 707 (Ct. App. 1991). 111.34 - ANNOT.Temporary forbearance of work rules while determining whether an employee's medical problem is treatable may be a reasonable accommodation under sub. (1) (b). The purpose of reasonable accommodation is to enable employees to adequately undertake job-related responsibilities. Target Stores v. LIRC, 217 Wis. 2d 1, 576 N.W.2d 545 (Ct. App. 1998), 97-1253. See also Stoughton Trailers, Inc. v. LIRC, 2007 WI 105, 303 Wis. 2d 514, 735 N.W.2d 477, 04-1550. 111.34 - ANNOT.Whether an employee's mental illness caused him to react angrily and commit the act of insubordination that led to the termination of his employment was sufficiently complex and technical that expert testimony was required. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. LIRC, 2000 WI App 272, 240 Wis. 2d 209, 621 N.W.2d 633, 99-2632. 111.34 - ANNOT.A complainant must show that he or she is handicapped and that the employer took one of the prohibited actions based on that handicap. The employer then has a burden of proving a defense. Sub. (1) (b) does not require an employer to make a reasonable accommodation if the accommodation will impose a hardship on the employer, but if the employer is not able to demonstrate that the accommodation would pose a hardship there is a violation. Crystal Lake Cheese Factory v. LIRC, 2003 WI 106, 264 Wis. 2d 200, 664 N.W.2d 651, 02-0815. 111.34 - ANNOT.A reasonable accommodation is not limited to that which would allow the employee to perform adequately all of his or her job duties. A change in job duties may be a reasonable accommodation in a given circumstance. Crystal Lake Cheese Factory v. LIRC, 2003 WI 106, 264 Wis. 2d 200, 664 N.W.2d 651, 02-0815. 111.34 - ANNOT.An interstate commercial driver need not seek a determination of medical qualification from the federal department of transportation (DOT) prior to filing a disability discrimination claim under this chapter. When medical and physical qualifications to be an interstate driver are material to a claim, and a dispute arises concerning those qualifications that cannot be resolved by facial application of DOT regulations, the dispute should be resolved by the DOT under its dispute resolution procedure. The employer must seek a determination of medical and physical qualification from the DOT if the employer intends to offer a defense that the driver was not qualified for medical reasons. Szleszinski v. Labor & Industry Review Commission, 2007 WI 106, 304 Wis. 2d 258, 736 N.W.2d 111, 04-3033. 111.34 - ANNOT.A person suffering from a contagious disease may be handicapped under the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973. School Board of Nassau County v. Arline, 480 U.S. 273 (1987). 111.34 - ANNOT.Crystal Lake Cheese Factory v. Labor and Industry Review Commission: A reasonable Turn Under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act. Haas. 2004 WLR 1535. 111.34 - ANNOT.Hidden handicaps: Protection of alcoholics, drug addicts, and the mentally ill against employment discrimination under the rehabilitation act of 1973 and the Wisconsin fair employment act. 1983 WLR 725. 111.34 - ANNOT.Disability Law in Wisconsin Workplaces. Vergeront & Cochrane. Wis. Law. Oct. 2004. 111.34 - ANNOT.ADA and WFEA: Differing Disability Protections. Backer & Mishlove. Wis. Law. Oct. 2004.
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  • 111.34

    111.34 Disability; exceptions and special cases.

    111.34(1)

    (1) Employment discrimination because of disability includes, but is not limited to:

    111.34(1)(a)

    (a) Contributing a lesser amount to the fringe benefits, including life or disability insurance coverage, of any employee because of the employee's disability; or

    111.34(1)(b)

    (b) Refusing to reasonably accommodate an employee's or prospective employee's disability unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation would pose a hardship on the employer's program, enterprise or business.

    111.34(2)

    (2)

    111.34(2)(a)

    (a) Notwithstanding s. 111.322, it is not employment discrimination because of disability to refuse to hire, employ, admit or license any individual, to bar or terminate from employment, membership or licensure any individual, or to discriminate against any individual in promotion, compensation or in terms, conditions or privileges of employment if the disability is reasonably related to the individual's ability to adequately undertake the job-related responsibilities of that individual's employment, membership or licensure.

    111.34(2)(b)

    (b) In evaluating whether an individual with a disability can adequately undertake the job-related responsibilities of a particular job, membership or licensed activity, the present and future safety of the individual, of the individual's coworkers and, if applicable, of the general public may be considered. However, this evaluation shall be made on an individual case-by-case basis and may not be made by a general rule which prohibits the employment or licensure of individuals with disabilities in general or a particular class of individuals with disabilities.

    111.34(2)(c)

    (c) If the employment, membership or licensure involves a special duty of care for the safety of the general public, including but not limited to employment with a common carrier, this special duty of care may be considered in evaluating whether the employee or applicant can adequately undertake the job-related responsibilities of a particular job, membership or licensed activity. However, this evaluation shall be made on an individual case-by-case basis and may not be made by a general rule which prohibits the employment or licensure of individuals with disabilities in general or a particular class of individuals with disabilities.

    111.34 - ANNOT.

    History: 1981 c. 334; 1997 a. 112.

    111.34 - ANNOT.

    The utilization of federal regulations as a hiring standard, although not applicable to the employing taxi company, demonstrated a rational relationship to the safety obligations imposed on the employer, and its use was not the result of an arbitrary belief lacking in objective reason or rationale. Boynton Cab Co. v. DILHR, 96 Wis. 2d 396, 291 N.W.2d 850 (1980).

    111.34 - ANNOT.

    An employee handicapped by alcoholism was properly discharged under s. 111.32 (5) (f), 1973 Stats., (a predecessor to this section) for inability to efficiently perform job duties. Squires v. LIRC, 97 Wis. 2d 648, 294 N.W.2d 48 (Ct. App. 1980).

    111.34 - ANNOT.

    Small stature is not a handicap. American Motors Corp. v. LIRC, 114 Wis. 2d 288, 338 N.W.2d 518 (Ct. App. 1983); aff'd, 119 Wis. 2d 706, 350 N.W.2d 120 (1984).

    111.34 - ANNOT.

    Physical standards for school bus operators established under s. 343.12 (2) (g) are not exempt from the requirements of sub. (2) (b). Bothum v. Department of Transportation, 134 Wis. 2d 378, 396 N.W.2d 785 (Ct. App. 1986).

    111.34 - ANNOT.

    The duty to reasonably accommodate under sub. (1) (b) is to be broadly interpreted and may involve the transfer of an individual from one job to another. What is reasonable will depend on the facts of the case. McMullen v. LIRC, 148 Wis. 2d 270, 434 N.W.2d 270 (Ct. App. 1986).

    111.34 - ANNOT.

    To avail itself of the defense under sub. (2) that an ostensibly safety-based employment restriction is job-related, an employer bears the burden of proving to a reasonable probability that the restriction is necessary to prevent harm to the employee or others. Racine Unified School District v. LIRC, 164 Wis. 2d 567, 476 N.W.2d 707 (Ct. App. 1991).

    111.34 - ANNOT.

    Temporary forbearance of work rules while determining whether an employee's medical problem is treatable may be a reasonable accommodation under sub. (1) (b). The purpose of reasonable accommodation is to enable employees to adequately undertake job-related responsibilities. Target Stores v. LIRC, 217 Wis. 2d 1, 576 N.W.2d 545 (Ct. App. 1998), 97-1253. See also Stoughton Trailers, Inc. v. LIRC, 2007 WI 105, 303 Wis. 2d 514, 735 N.W.2d 477, 04-1550.

    111.34 - ANNOT.

    Whether an employee's mental illness caused him to react angrily and commit the act of insubordination that led to the termination of his employment was sufficiently complex and technical that expert testimony was required. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. LIRC, 2000 WI App 272, 240 Wis. 2d 209, 621 N.W.2d 633, 99-2632.

    111.34 - ANNOT.

    A complainant must show that he or she is handicapped and that the employer took one of the prohibited actions based on that handicap. The employer then has a burden of proving a defense. Sub. (1) (b) does not require an employer to make a reasonable accommodation if the accommodation will impose a hardship on the employer, but if the employer is not able to demonstrate that the accommodation would pose a hardship there is a violation. Crystal Lake Cheese Factory v. LIRC, 2003 WI 106, 264 Wis. 2d 200, 664 N.W.2d 651, 02-0815.

    111.34 - ANNOT.

    A reasonable accommodation is not limited to that which would allow the employee to perform adequately all of his or her job duties. A change in job duties may be a reasonable accommodation in a given circumstance. Crystal Lake Cheese Factory v. LIRC, 2003 WI 106, 264 Wis. 2d 200, 664 N.W.2d 651, 02-0815.

    111.34 - ANNOT.

    An interstate commercial driver need not seek a determination of medical qualification from the federal department of transportation (DOT) prior to filing a disability discrimination claim under this chapter. When medical and physical qualifications to be an interstate driver are material to a claim, and a dispute arises concerning those qualifications that cannot be resolved by facial application of DOT regulations, the dispute should be resolved by the DOT under its dispute resolution procedure. The employer must seek a determination of medical and physical qualification from the DOT if the employer intends to offer a defense that the driver was not qualified for medical reasons. Szleszinski v. Labor & Industry Review Commission, 2007 WI 106, 304 Wis. 2d 258, 736 N.W.2d 111, 04-3033.

    111.34 - ANNOT.

    A person suffering from a contagious disease may be handicapped under the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973. School Board of Nassau County v. Arline, 480 U.S. 273 (1987).

    111.34 - ANNOT.

    Crystal Lake Cheese Factory v. Labor and Industry Review Commission: A reasonable Turn Under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act. Haas. 2004 WLR 1535.

    111.34 - ANNOT.

    Hidden handicaps: Protection of alcoholics, drug addicts, and the mentally ill against employment discrimination under the rehabilitation act of 1973 and the Wisconsin fair employment act. 1983 WLR 725.

    111.34 - ANNOT.

    Disability Law in Wisconsin Workplaces. Vergeront & Cochrane. Wis. Law. Oct. 2004.

    111.34 - ANNOT.

    ADA and WFEA: Differing Disability Protections. Backer & Mishlove. Wis. Law. Oct. 2004.

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