For more information please call  800.727.2766


In This Case, Telecommuting Was Reasonable Accommodation

Mosby-Meachem v. Memphis Light, Gas, & Water Division provides a reminder to employers that whether to provide accommodation should be considered on a case by case basis.

Andrea Mosby-Meachem was an in-house attorney working for Memphis, Light, Gas, & Water Division (MLGW). When she had just 10 weeks left in her pregnancy, her doctor ordered her to go on modified bed rest. She requested that she be allowed to work from home during the bed rest as an accommodation but MLGW refused her request. She was offered leave instead. She filed suit alleging failure to accommodate, pregnancy discrimination, and retaliation. The jury found in her favor and MLGW appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

MLGW argued that Ms. Mosby-Meachem could not perform the essential functions of her position. Its job description stated that lawyers were expected to be in the office to take and defend depositions, try cases, and oversee assigned employees. Ms. Mosby-Meachem pointed out that the company had no telecommuting policy and she had previously been able to work from home during a two-week neck injury. Other employees and outside counsel testified that she could have worked from home. Moreover, she had never participated in a trial or taken a deposition during her employment; and the job description was over 20 years old. The circuit court found that given the evidence, especially the fact that the requested accommodation was of limited duration, Ms. Mosby-Meachem could perform the essential functions of her job and should have been accommodated.