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If FMLA will soon expire, start interactive ADA process

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

If you immediately fire employees who have used up their FMLA leave—without considering whether they may be disabled and need reasonable ADA accommodations—you may be making a big mistake.

Instead, let the employee know you want to begin the interactive accommodations process right before FMLA leave runs out.

Recent case: Joseph White worked as a truck mechanic, a physically de­­manding job. While off-duty, he fractured his leg. White went out on FMLA leave. Before it expired, his em­­ployer asked him to suggest possible reasonable accommodations. When White offered none, he lost his job.

He sued, alleging ADA violations. The court tossed out the case, reasoning that the employer did everything right. It reached out, tried to find accommodations and found none. (White v. Interstate, No. 11-5063, 6th Cir., 2011)

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