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OK to set limits on intermittent ADA leave

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

If employees have disabilities that flare up periodically, be prepared to provide reasonable accommodations—within limits.

Recent case: Debra worked in a kitchen and had problems with tinnitus and anxiety. She was allowed to work away from clanking pots and wear ear plugs as an accommodation. She could also take time off for anxiety, which her doctors said only occurred periodically.

If Debra was going to be absent for four or more days, her boss  demanded a new certification that she was having a flare-up. When Debra missed work and didn’t call off or get a certification, she was fired.

She sued, claiming the periodic recertifications were unreasonable.

The court disagreed. It said the employer could reasonably request medical certification when her own doctors said her condition changed and was periodic. (Price v. Roswell Park, No. 13-CV-504, WD NY, 2016)

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