Consider more time off as reasonable accommodation

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Sometimes, employees develop medical problems and use up their available leave under the FMLA or other leave programs before they get a definitive diagnosis. Think about offering them additional time off.

Recent case: Prison psychologist Iris Cohen handled a double caseload with no problems and earned good reviews. Over time, she became fatigued and used up her leave. Then she was diagnosed with profound progressive iron deficiency.

Her doctor said she needed 10 weeks of treatment. Cohen requested leave as an accommodation. When she was turned down, she sued.

The California Court of Appeal said a finite leave of absence can be a reasonable accommodation, even if the employee has no other leave available. (Cohen v. CDCR, No. B226762, Court of Appeal of California, 2nd District, 2011)

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