New EEOC Resource On The ADA And Leave Policies

This is something to get excited about!

Boy, Happy, Playing, Night Shot, Kid

The EEOC has just issued a very significant “resource document” for both employers and employees concerning leave as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  The document is:  Employer-Provided Leave and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

No new policy had been created, but the intent of the EEOC was toconsolidate[] existing guidance on ADA and leave into one place, addressing issues that arise frequently regarding leave as a reasonable accommodation, including the interactive process, maximum leave policies, ‘100 percent healed’ policies, and reassignment.”

This subject can get complicated and it is something that employers are easily confused about, or can get wrong.

The EEOC noted that charges of ADA violations have increased substantially, and that “One troubling trend the EEOC has identified in ADA charges is the prevalence of employer policies that deny or unlawfully restrict the use of leave as a reasonable accommodation. These policies often serve as systemic barriers to the employment of workers with disabilities. They may cause many workers to be terminated who otherwise could have returned to work after obtaining needed leave without undue hardship to the employer. EEOC regulations already provide that reasonable accommodations may include leave, potentially including unpaid leave that exceeds a company’s normal leave allowances.”

Takeaway:  This is something that all HR people should print out, read, and keep readily available.

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Richard Cohen

Richard B. Cohen is a partner in the New York City office of FisherBroyles, LLP, a national law firm. Richard Cohen has litigated and arbitrated complex corporate, commercial and employment disputes for more than 35 years, and is a trusted advisor to business owners and in-house counsel both in the United States and internationally. His clients have included Fortune 100 companies, domestic and foreign commercial and investment banks, Pacific-rim corporations and real estate development companies, as well as start-up businesses throughout the United States. Email Richard at [email protected]