As any human resources professional will attest, complying with the FMLA is an administrative headache. The law is complicated and difficult to follow. However, the one part of the FMLA that is easy to understand is that the employee is required to return to work when her leave expires. Right? Well, maybe not. The EEOC has taken the position that leave is a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. According to the EEOC, this includes leave following the expiration of FMLA leave. To make matters worse, the EEOC is starting to crack down on employers who maintain no-fault termination policies. Seemy earlier article on this topic.
What does this mean for you? Employers should adopt a flexible approach to employee leave situations, and take into account the ADA’s reasonable accommodation requirements when administering FMLA leave. A recent article does a good job of outlining these issues in more detail.