Sometimes, employers must grant more time off to disabled employees if theirand other leave has expired. But they don’t have to if doctors can’t estimate a return-to-work date.
Recent case: Tempie, a nurse, had disabilities that made her job difficult. When confronted about what her supervisor called subpar work, she got upset and fell, hitting her head on a desk. She never returned to work.
During the following months, Tempie provided a series of doctors’ notes indicating that her inability to work was essentially indefinite. After several warnings, the employer terminated her. She sued, claiming she should have received additional time off as a reasonable accommodation.
The court disagreed. Because her doctors couldn’t even estimate her return date, she was requesting open-ended leave. (Bell vs. Shinseki, No. 1:12-CV-57, MD NC, 2013)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Is there an FLSA violation hiding in your company handbook?
- Existing attendance policy ignored? Start enforcing rules now
- Beware denying 'vacation' requests that are thinly disguised as FMLA leave
- Live from SHRM: 7 rules to 'bullet-proof' your documentation