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Providing additional leave? Employee loses some rights

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Sometimes, employees with serious medical conditions need more than 12 weeks of FMLA leave to fully re­­cover. Employers that choose to provide more leave or determine that it would be a reasonable accommodation to do so can extend the time off.

But the employee loses some rights in the move. For example, the right to reinstatement to the same or an equivalent job isn’t clear.

Recent case: Patricia was a police dispatcher before she took 12 weeks of FMLA leave for childbirth. Before returning, she was injured in an auto accident and took more leave under a short-term disability program.

When she returned, she was placed in a different job. She sued, alleging FMLA violations.

The court rejected her claim, reasoning that once she had used up her FMLA leave, she didn’t have the same reinstatement right she otherwise would have had. (Karaffa v. Township of Montgomery, No. 13-2110, 3rd Cir., 2014)

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