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ADA accommodation: Yes to time off, no to paid time off

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources,Office Management,Payroll Management

Employers have to reasonably accommodate disabilities, and those accommodations may include reduced hours or time off. However, employees aren’t entitled to paid time off.

Recent case: Shawnetta Graham was a library worker at a juvenile detention facility when she slipped on ice and hurt her knee and ankle. From then on, she had trouble standing and walking.

Her employer offered to accommodate her with medical leave until she could return to work. She took the leave but then sued, alleging that she had lost pay while out.

The court rejected her claim, explaining that disabled employees may be entitled to time off to deal with the disability, but it doesn’t have to be paid time off. If employees don’t have accumulated sick or vacation time, they are simply out of luck. (Graham v. State of Illinois, No. 07-C-7078, ND IL, 2009)

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