Q. Canbe 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 ofleave, 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.