Consider ADA before firing after 12 weeks

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in Firing,FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. Can FMLA leave be extended beyond the 12 weeks specified in the law? What if the employee is disabled and can’t return to work right away or can come back only part time?

A. Yours is an excellent question. Many employers subscribe to the misconception that, upon the expiration of an employee’s 12 weeks of FMLA leave, it can “automatically” terminate the employee without incurring any exposure to liability.

Not so! You must remember to consider the ADA. It says that qualified employees with disabilities may be entitled to additional unpaid leave beyond the 12-week FMLA entitlement. The length of the additional leave required under the ADA is based upon what is “reasonable” under the circumstances, and usually hinges on factors such as the availability of a temporary replacement and the size of the employer. 

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Janet Canner July 3, 2013 at 10:21 pm

I am on FMLA leave due to open heart surgery..I have been on it for 3 months now and my Dr has not released me to work yet. Can my leave be extended for another month per my Dr’s orders?
Thank you
Janet

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