EEOC Releases Summary on Leave as an Accommodation under the ADA

Federal agencies have been doling out the helpful information lately, with the DOL releasing a helpful guide to FMLA compliance and a new FMLA poster last month and now the EEOC releasing its creatively-titled Employer-Provided Leave and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which provides a summary of leave as a (potentially) reasonable accommodation under the ADA.

If those of you who have graced one of our seminars, you’ve heard me harping on the importance of communication, engaging in the interactive process, and trying to find a reasonable accommodation (aka, solution) when made aware of a medical condition that may be a disability under the ADA. You’ve also heard me talk (preach?) about the sticky situation presented by an employee who requests or otherwise needs time off of work because of his/her disability, and that there is no bright line rule of how much is too much.

The EEOC’s new publication analyzes that sticky situation in sections—“Equal Access to Leave Under an Employer’s Leave Policy,” “Granting Leave as a Reasonable Accommodation,” “Leave and the Interactive Process Generally,” “Maximum Leave Policies,” “Return to Work and Reasonable Accommodation (Including Reassignment),” and “Undue Hardship”—and does a nice job of providing examples of how to appropriately address leave issues (20 of them in fact) in each. It also contains links to other EEOC documents that may be of assistance.

Takeaway: Next time your company is doing compliance, internal workshops, etc., this is an extremely handy and helpful document to distribute and discuss. If nothing else, it should be reviewed by all individuals who are involved in the accommodations process, as leave as a reasonable accommodation continues to be a troublesome area in the workplace.

If you want us to lead that discussion or provide an in-depth analysis of leave as a reasonable accommodation or any other ADA-related issues in your workplace, let us know and we’ll work with you to create a workshop that meets your needs.