Do you automatically terminate employees who can’t return to work after exhaustingand personal leave? That could violate the ADA.
Recent case: Gary Chedwick served in Vietnam and attributed some work problems to that service. He took 12 weeks ofleave and then another 12 weeks of personal leave. Then his employer fired him under an automatic policy limiting time off.
He later applied for several job openings. When he wasn’t rehired, Chedwick sued, alleging disability discrimination and tried to make it a class-action lawsuit.
The court denied his motion for class certification, but let his individual claims continue. (Chedwick v. UPMC, No. 07-806, WD PA, 2011)
Final note: The lawsuit could have been avoided by considering additional time off or other accommodations.
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Consider extended leave as accommodation if disabled employee is likely to return to work
- Can we consider only currently working candidates?
- Arbitration agreements must be specific and conspicuous
- Make sure firing decision was independent of FMLA status