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Don’t grant unlimited leave as ADA accommodation

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,FMLA Guidelines

Employees who use up their FMLA leave may still be entitled to more time off when that leave expires. Some additional time off can be a legitimate reasonable accommodation under the ADA.

But if the employee still can’t return after additional leave, it may be time to discuss termination.

Before you do, ask her if any potential accommodations would allow her to return. If she says no, it’s time to terminate.

Recent case: Wanda Dansler-Hill took 26 weeks off for depression, anxiety and back pain. She claimed she still couldn’t return to work. She couldn’t provide an estimated return date and instead signed up for long-term disability benefits.

Then she sued for disability discrimination.

The court dismissed her case, reasoning that she had already been accommodated with extra leave. (Dansler-Hill v. RIT, No. 10-CV-6102, WD NY, 2011)

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