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Start accommodations process when FMLA expires

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Change your policy now if you automatically terminate employees who use up their FMLA leave and can’t yet to return to work without restrictions.

That’s because the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) requires employers to start an interactive accommodations process when they learn an employee may be disabled.

Recent case: Ronald Brown drove an armored truck until he had heart surgery. He took 12 weeks of FMLA leave, and his doctor would only clear him for light-duty work for a few weeks. The company fired Brown without discussing accommodations, and he sued.

The court ruled that NJLAD required Brown’s employer to start the interactive accommodations process when he returned to work. It also concluded that light-duty or more time off might be possible accommodations. (Brown v. Dunbar Armored, No. 08-3286, DC NJ, 2009)

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