Magazine article HRMagazine

Counseling Is 'Medical Examination' under ADA

Magazine article HRMagazine

Counseling Is 'Medical Examination' under ADA

Article excerpt

Kroll v. White Lake Ambulance Authority, 6th Cir., No. 10-2348 (Aug. 22, 2012).

An employer's directive to an employee to see a mental health counselor as a condition to keeping her employment constituted a request for a medical examination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.

Emily Kroll began her employment with White Lake Ambulance Authority as an emergency medical technician in September 2003. Kroll was considered to be a good employee until becoming romantically involved with a co-worker, after which time her supervisor and office manager received reports from other employees about Kroll's "wellbeing."

Subsequently, the office manager told Kroll that she thought Kroll could benefit from talking to a mental health care provider, and Kroll agreed to do so. At a later meeting, however, when the director told Kroll that she must attend mental health counseling to continue her employment, Kroll said she would not attend counseling, leftthe meeting and never returned to work at White Lake.

Ultimately, Kroll filed a lawsuit alleging violations of the ADA, among other claims. The lower court granted White Lake's motion for summary judgment on the ADA claim, concluding that because mental health counseling does not constitute a "medical examination" under the ADA, the employer's requirement of mental health counseling as a condition of continued employment did not constitute a violation of the law. …

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