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Make sure handbook spells out how leave works as a reasonable accommodation

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Disabled employees who need time off to deal with a disability and who don’t have FMLA, sick or vacation leave may still be entitled to more time off. That’s because the ADA allows employees to take additional time off as a reasonable accommodation.

Be sure your employee handbook accounts for this possibility.

For example, you could specify that employees may request unpaid leave once they have exhausted other options in certain increments like 30 days. You can add that employees who don’t return after a 30-day leave is up will be considered as having abandoned their positions (consistent with a separate policy setting job abandonment rules). That puts the burden on the employee to seek out a longer leave as a reasonable accommodation or risk losing his or her position.

Recent case: Dillard, a truck driver, had been with Swift Trans­­por­­tation just a short time when he requested time off for “emotional distress.” His docto...(register to read more)

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