EEOC Issues Welcome Guidance on Leave as a Reasonable Accommodation

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Leave as a reasonable accommodation may arise where an employee is not eligible for (or has exhausted) employer-provided leave or job-protected leave under the federal FMLA and/or other state leave law.
Due to the lack of agency guidance on the topic, leave as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA has left many employers unsure of what their requirements may be regarding leave as a reasonable accommodation.
In May, the EEOC issued general information to employers and employees regarding when and how leave must be granted for reasons related to an employee’s disability in order to promote voluntary compliance with the ADA. Employers with 15 or more employees are covered by the ADA and should review the EEOC’s guidance.
According to the EEOC, in order to comply with the ADA, employers may need to modify their policies that limit the amount of leave employees may take, change policies that require 100 percent healing prior to returning to work after an extended leave, and consider reassignment as an option for employees who are unable to return to their jobs after a leave.

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