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Sterling Employment Law

Did CBS violate Jennifer Esposito's rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act?

There are probably plenty of fans of "Blue Bloods," the CBS police drama, here in Detroit. That's why we thought a story concerning one of its stars might be of interest.

Actress Jennifer Esposito has lashed out at the network, accusing it of effectively dropping her from the show after she informed executives she had a medical condition that required special accommodations.

If Esposito's claims are true, then it seems CBS might have violated the Americans With Disabilities Act. That law guarantees, among other things, that sick or injured employees will not be fired for needing accommodations to be made for treatment or recuperation.

Esposito has celiac disease, which she has said leaves her fatigued. She asked that she be placed on a reduced work schedule, but instead of making the reasonable accommodation it is legally obligated to put in place, CBS put Esposito on unpaid medical leave.

If Esposito's claims are true (and we have not had a chance to hear CBS's side of the story yet), then she would have a legitimate claim under the ADA. She would want to argue that CBS failed to enter into an "interactive process" to determine what "reasonable accommodations" should be made in response to her ailment.

In return, CBS would want to show that it tried to work with Esposito, or that the accommodations she requested would shape the job into something it was not meant to be or else simply would not be possible.

In any event, we will be watching what, if anything, develops from this situation.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, "Does Sidelined 'Blue Bloods' Star Jennifer Esposito Have a Case Against CBS? (Analysis)" Eriq Gardner, Oct. 24, 2012

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Sterling Employment Law

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