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Consider ADA issues once FMLA, personal leave expire

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in Discrimination and Harassment,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Do you automatically terminate employees who can’t return to work after exhausting FMLA leave and 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 of FMLA leave 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.

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