Determine if a Request for Leave Qualifies as an ADA Accommodation

Key Points

  • There may be times when an employee uses up all of his or her federal, state or local family and/or medical leave, but still cannot return to work. An employer needs to consult all applicable laws to determine what its obligations may be.
  • A request for leave may be considered a request for a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for an employee with a disability.
  • 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, the 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 may be accommodated without causing undue hardship. An employer should not automatically terminate an employee after a certain period of leave.

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