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How to Handle an Employee Returning From FMLA Leave Who May Need an ADA Accommodation

Author: Barton A. Bixenstine, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may entitle an employee with an ADA-protected disability to be reinstated from a leave of absence under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) even though the employee is not able to perform all the essential functions of his or her job. Reinstatement may be required if a modification of job duties or some other accommodation will allow the employee to perform the job's essential functions, or even if, in the absence of such an accommodation, the employee can be reassigned to a different position, the essential functions of which the employee can perform, without or without accommodation.

Here is how to handle an employee's request for an accommodation upon return from an FMLA-protected leave. Guidance on how to handle a request for additional leave as an accommodation are contained in a separate guide titled How to Handle Employee's Request for Leave as an Accommodation.