Music City plays host to converters attending the Flexographic Technical Assn.'s annual conference and exhibition.Read more
Folding carton and corrugated converters will find equipment displays and educational opportunities in die-cutting, foil stamping, embossing, and more.Read more
How well do you understand the relationship between your films and your corona treater?Read more
EVOH allows conversion from foil and metallized film laminations to co-extruded barrier films.Read more
News | New Products
The iAmp2 amplifier reportedly saves set-up time and simplifies web tension measurement
The reports shows the material known as nylon has a number of applications, including some found in the converting industry
ECG seminar will feature a wide range of topics and break-out sessions
The Novamelt location in Germany, where hot melt p-s adhesives are produced, is expected to play a key role in the integration of the two companies
According to a study from the Corrugated Packaging Alliance, shipping in corrugated containers saves 10.4 percent annually compared to RPCs
The 2015 North American Paperboard Packaging Competition, which recognizes excellence through the entire converting process, is accepting entries
A recent show in China was the occasion for the introduction of the modular ‘Concept’ and a carbon fibre chamber doctor blade
Directories | Reports
PFFC brings you exclusive White Papers from our online sponsors.
Visit Kelly on Static from Static control expert Dr. Kelly Robinson, president of Electrostatic Answers; Kelly has 27+ years of experience in problem-solving and consulting.
Visit Tim's Web Lines to handle and wind your paper, film, foil, and similar products. Take advantage of Tim’s 25+ years just like over 100 converters have.
Visit Mark's Coating Matters from fluid coating expert Mark D. Miller; Process improvement and project management for precision roll-to-roll coating applications.
Visit Marketing Mojo for dynamic marketing insights from Stephanie Millman that inspire new ideas on how to stay on top of your customer’s mind.
Visit Yo’s Yarns to share the thoughts, impressions, experiences, and news that impact the converting industry. . . or anything else that happens to be on her mind!
Visit Tom's Poly Ploys, where Tom will be writing on various topics that the typical polymer processor would encounter on the job.
- August 01, 2002, Sheila A. Millar, Attorney-at-Law, Keller & Heckman, Washington, DC
In the third of recent, important decisions involving the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled the ADA allows an employer to refuse to hire a person with a disability where that disability poses a direct threat to the individual when performing a job. The case is Chevron USA Inc. v. Echazabal.
Decisions addressing the scope of the ADA are critically important to converters, suppliers, and their customers, whose facilities may involve exposure to chemicals or other materials potentially harmful to individuals with certain medical conditions, or whose disabilities may impair their ability to do a job safely.
The facts of the case decided by the high court are as follows: The employee, Mario Echazabal, worked for a contractor of Chevron USA Inc. In 1996 Mr. Echazabal applied for employment directly with Chevron. The oil giant offered Mr. Echazabal employment, conditioned upon successfully completing a medical exam. The testing physician found liver damage and said continued exposure to toxins at the Chevron facility would lead to further liver damage.
Chevron withdrew its offer of employment to Mr. Echazabal and informed the contractor, Mr. Echazabal's employer, either to reassign him to a job that would not involve exposure to potentially damaging toxins or to remove him from the refinery. The contractor laid off Mr. Echazabal, and he filed suit against Chevron, alleging it violated the ADA.
The Supreme Court ruled an employer may refuse to hire an individual if, based on a reasonable medical judgment regarding that individual's medical condition, his disability would create or aggravate a danger to his own safety or health on the job.
Moreover, the Court noted, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) requires an employer to actively ensure it provides a safe and healthful workplace. If Chevron were required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to hire persons like Mr. Echazabal, then compliance with OSHA would conflict with the ADA, a result at odds with workplace safety objectives.
The unanimity of the decision is an especially important factor, suggesting rare agreement on the fundamental principle that employers may take into consideration a prospective employee's medical condition in determining the appropriateness of employment.
What should converters do?
A converter, supplier, or customer may require employees to meet physical and medical criteria, and may set those requirements as conditions upon which employment offers are made. However, those criteria must be applied to an individual based on a reasonable medical judgment of that individual.
Arguably, the ADA requires an employer to reassign an individual such as Mr. Echazabal to a position that would not endanger his safety or health, provided doing so would not be an undue burden. If no other job is available, an employer may refuse to hire that employee.
The Court addressed a number of important issues not discussed here; ADA requirements and the Chevron case's assessment of them involve complex issues. Members of the converting industry should be sure to review carefully hiring and accommodation decisions with experienced labor specialists to be sure they are adhering to the applicable requirements.