Category Archives: ADA

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FMLA Leave for Headache Effectively Converts Full-Time Position into Part-Time Position; Employers' Shrieks Heard Across the Country

This one is a real headache. Sam oversees a storage area for the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) and during certain times of the year, his position requires a fairly extensive amount of overtime. For years, Sam has suffered from “cluster headaches,” which are far worse than migraines and can last for days.  Sam’s physician … Continue Reading

Don't Be Tripped Up by Light Duty Obligations under the FMLA and ADA: A Discussion of Employer Best Practices

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of presenting on the FMLA and ADA reasonable accommodations at CUPA-HR‘s annual conference with my friend, Stan Kulesa from The Standard. We spent much of our time discussing the delicate topic of light duty and how it intersects with — and creates employer obligations under — both the … Continue Reading

New EEOC Guidance Expands Protections and Requires Accommodations for Pregnant Employees (and Reaffirms Rights for Dads, Too!)

Earlier this week, the EEOC issued new enforcement guidance on pregnancy discrimination, warning employers of their obligation to provide pregnant employees reasonable accommodations in the workplace and giving employers insight into how the EEOC will enforce pregnancy-related issues under Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) in the future. As expected, the guidance confirms that the EEOC will broadly interpret when … Continue Reading

Does an Employer Have an Obligation to Provide Accommodations to Pregnant Employees? Don't Follow This Employer's Lead

Ena Wages served as a property manager for one of several apartment complexes owned by Stuart Management Corp.  She began her employment on November 17, 2008, and this is significant under the FMLA because nearly one year later, on November 13, 2009, Ena’s physician restricted the number hours she could work as a result of … Continue Reading

Are Inflexible Leave Policies Lawful After All? One Court Leaves Employers Salivating

When it comes to leave as a reasonable accommodation after FMLA leave is exhausted, employers have been conditioned to simply believe: inflexible leave policies bad, flexible leave policies good.  In fact, many of us have become so good at this conditioning it would make Ivan Pavlov proud [you know, the guy who conditioned his dog to … Continue Reading

Employer Can Seek Second Opinion After Doctor Finds Employee Fit to Return From FMLA Leave

On a number of occasions, we have discussed whether an employer can keep an employee out on FMLA leave even though they want to return, or whether an employer can require an employee to undergo a full medical examination before returning from FMLA leave.  This scenario often arises where the employer has concerns about whether … Continue Reading

EEOC Commissioner Gives Insight into Handling Employee Leaves of Absence After FMLA is Exhausted

Last week, I had the pleasure of co-presenting with EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum on the topic of “leave” as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.  Our presentation was part of an FMLA/ADA compliance conference hosted by the Disability Management Employer Coalition. You can access BNA’s coverage of our presentation here (pdf). Naturally, Cmmr. Feldblum and I … Continue Reading

Failure to Provide Additional Leave as ADA Accommodation Could Prove Costly to Employers

For ages, the employer community has awaited guidance from the EEOC regarding how much additional leave, if any, an employer is required to provide an employee as an ADA reasonable accommodation when an employee is unable to return to work after exhausting FMLA leave. (Depending on what the EEOC says in that eventual guidance, however, … Continue Reading

I Believe My Employee is Unfit to Return to Work. Can I Require a Full Medical Examination Before His Return?

Have you ever doubted whether one of your employees actually was fit to return to work from a leave of absence?   Take this situation I counseled a client through a few months back: one of their employees texted a suicide note — to about 40 of his co-workers.  Not surprisingly, it turned the workplace … Continue Reading

Last Chance to Sign Up for our Complimentary FMLA Webinar set for this Thursday, December 6 (12 p.m. CST)

Reports on the street indicate that people literally are lining up and begging for the last seat for a complimentary FMLA webinar I am hosting this Thursday, December 6.  (See right.)  The good thing is that, as subscribers to our blog, you and your colleagues still can sign up.  (See details below.)  I hope you can … Continue Reading

Hurricane Sandy and the FMLA: Are Your Employees Eligible for Leave During a Natural Disaster?

Our thoughts and prayers are with those on the east coast who are attempting to return to some sense of normalcy in the wake of the devastation left behind by Hurricane Sandy.  Natural disasters like Sandy raise a host of issues for employers: how do you pay your employees during during suspended operations?  Whether and … Continue Reading

An "Indefinite Reprieve" of Essential Functions of Job Not a Reasonable Accommodation under the ADA

In light of the EEOC’s litigation over automatic termination provisions under the ADA (we’ve beaten you over the head with it here and here), employers generally feel as though they have no clue as to their legal obligations when it comes to providing a leave of absence as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA after an employee’s 12 weeks … Continue Reading

Employer Best Practices for Analyzing Whether Leave Beyond FMLA is an "Undue Hardship" under the ADA

The scenario is all too common: An employee takes and exhausts 12 weeks of FMLA leave and still cannot return to work.  At this point, the employer is left with a dilemma — does it terminate employment because the employee cannot immediately return to work, or does it consider approving more leave than the 12 weeks … Continue Reading

The Best of FMLA from 2011 and What's In Store for Employers in 2012

First, a heartfelt THANK YOU for following our FMLA Insights blog in 2011.  In 2011, our most popular blog entries involved two general topics: 1) employers’ best practices for FMLA administration; and 2) leave as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA when FMLA leave ends.  We share these posts again below, since we believe the guidance … Continue Reading

Are Employees Eligible for FMLA Leave When A Natural Disaster Strikes?

Natural disasters like the kind we recently have witnessed in the flood-ravaged areas of the southern United States raise a host of issues for employers.  Some wonder whether they are required to pay their employees during suspended operations; others are unsure whether and to what extent health benefits should be offered.  But what about an employer’s obligation to … Continue Reading

Lessons From The Jewel-Osco / EEOC Settlement

On January 5, the EEOC announced a $3.2 million settlement in a lawsuit against Jewel-Osco parent company Supervalu Inc., alleging that Jewel-Osco fired disabled employees at the end of medical leaves rather than returning them to work with reasonable accommodations. (Details are available in the Chicago Sun Times, and the EEOC has issued its own … Continue Reading
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