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No accommodation request, no unemployment benefits

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Some employees who quit for health reasons may be entitled to unemployment compensation. But that’s only true if they first give their employers a chance to consider possible accommodations.

Recent case: Noel took FMLA leave for de­­pression and panic disorder, conditions she later attributed to work. Before her leave ended, her employer informed her that she might be entitled to reasonable accommodations if she wasn’t ready to return yet. She never responded.

When she was terminated, she applied for unemployment, arguing she had to quit because her condition was caused by the stressful workplace.

The court denied her request, pointing out she never told her employer that the job made her depressed and anxious or requested any accommodation. (McDonald v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, No. 685 C.D. 2014, Commonwealth Court, 2014)

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