Post-FMLA Leave as a Reasonable Accommodation

August 16th, 2011 by JBWK

Think you can automatically fire an employee as soon as their FMLA leave expires?  Think again.

As highlighted by several recent EEOC cases and public guidance meetings, the EEOC has taken a stand against inflexible leave policies that fail to consider whether further unpaid leave after an employee’s FMLA (or non-FMLA) leave expires can be a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.  It has taken several employers to task for failing to consider individualized accommodations after employees’ standard leave periods end, and has reaffirmed that it intends to continue its active role in these types of cases.

As for the EEOC’s seriousness in pursuing these practices, the largest stand-alone ADA settlement in its history dealt with this very issue.  The employer’s bill: $6.2 million.



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