Handle Requests for Leave as an ADA Accommodation

Key Points

  • There may be times that an employee uses up all of his or her federal (i.e., FMLA leave) and state leave, but still cannot return to work. An employer needs to look at all laws to determine what their obligations may be.
  • Providing leave to employees may be a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for an employee with a disability.
  • While leave from work may be a reasonable accommodation under certain circumstances, it is not in all circumstances.
  • Whether and how much leave an employer may have to provide is fact-specific. An employer should take into account factors such as the person's job duties, impact on other employees, and the likelihood the person will return in the near future.
  • If an employee requests additional leave as a reasonable accommodation, an employer should have a conversation with the employee to see if the employee's request for additional leave can be accommodated without causing undue hardship - an employer should not automatically terminate an employee after a certain period of leave.

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