Is granting an employee additional leave a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? Employers have found a plethora of guidance from the courts on this issue but still suffer from a dearth of instruction from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Under the ADA, employers have an obligation to reasonably accommodate a qualified individual with a disability. A common situation arises when an employee has taken leave under employer policies or the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and their allotted leave is exhausted, but they are not ready and/or able to return to work. Their need for additional leave runs up against the employer’s maximum leave or no-fault termination and “100 percent healed” policies. Employers must balance their need for finality against their obligations under the ADA.