Firing a Worker with a Disability After FMLA Leave Expires

09/29/2013 // Dallas, Texas, United States // Attorney Keith Clouse // Keith Clouse // (press release)

An employee is considered disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act. She recently took leave for a disability-related issue. The employee will exhaust her Family Medical Leave Act leave at the end of this week. She just contacted the company to say that she cannot return to work next week as planned and that she needs to stay home for two more weeks to recover. Can the company fire the employee for failing to report for work?

Maybe. Before doing so, however, the company must evaluate whether it has an obligation to accommodate the employee’s request for leave. An employer must accommodate an employee’s request for leave if doing so does not cause an undue hardship for the employer. An undue hardship is one that results in significant difficulty or expense. So, for example, an employee’s indefinite or prolonged leave of absence likely would cause an undue hardship for a company. On the other hand, extending this employee’s leave by two weeks likely would not cause a company an undue hardship. If so, the company likely should accommodate her request.

To learn more about reasonable accommodations under the ADA, contact an employment lawyer in your area. This article is presented by the employment law attorneys at Clouse Dunn LLP. For inquiries, send an email to [email protected] or call (214) 239-2705.

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