SHRM: Leave Denials Often Violate ADA

Partner Robin Shea was quoted in a SHRM article on FMLA leave and ADA violations.

Leave Denials Often Violate ADA 

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"Indefinite leave, by contrast, is not required. Robin Shea, an attorney with Constangy, Brooks & Smith in Winston-Salem, N.C., noted that the ADA would not require an employer to grant indefinite leave where an employee or his or her physician informs the employer that the employee will never be able to return to work.

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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has taken the position that an employer can never terminate an employee based on the length of leave taken by an employee because of a disability unless extending the leave would be an undue hardship, Shea said. But she added that “the courts do not take this hard a line, however.” The courts generally uphold terminations based on extended leaves of absence (six to 12 months, or more) if the employer made reasonable efforts to accommodate the worker, she remarked."