You might think that a $1.39 bag of chips, for which the employee later paid, is not a fireable offense. Yet, no rule is more important to a retailer than its no-shoplifting rule. Most stores have zero tolerance policies, both for customers and employees. It may seem unreasonable to fire a diabetic employee over one bag of chips. Consider, however, that the employer might not want to set a precedent that it is acceptable to eat food off the shelf without paying for it first.
While the regulations make clear that “not every impairment will constitute a disability,” because of the ADAAA’s expansive definition of disability, most will…. In other words, employers should give up hope that they will be able to prove that an employee’s medical condition does not qualify as a disability. Instead, employers should focus their ADA compliance efforts on the two issues that now matter in these cases: avoiding discrimination and providing reasonable accommodations.