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Approved FMLA leave doesn’t mean worker is disabled

by on
in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Just because someone has a serious health condition that qualifies for FMLA leave, it doesn’t always mean the condition is a disability. Serious health conditions under the FMLA are often temporary, and therefore not disabling. And merely approving someone’s FMLA request isn’t the same as admitting the employee is disabled.

Recent case: Lisa Price took 12 weeks of FMLA leave for stress she attributed to being short-staffed at work. She was terminated when she didn’t return at the end of the scheduled leave.

Price sued, alleging she had been fired for being disabled and that her employer admitted she was disabled when it approved her FMLA leave.

The court dismissed Price’s case, reasoning that she wasn’t disabled and her employer didn’t admit she was by approving leave. (Price v. Mount Sinai, No. 10-5232, 2nd Cir., 2012)

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