The ADA defines a reasonable accommodation as “any change in the work environment or in the way things are customarily done that enables an individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities.” Under the ADA, even in cases where leave is not offered to other employees, an employer must provide leave or modify an existing leave policy as a reasonable accommodation when deemed necessary for a disability.
The EEOC’s release this week includes some key takeaways:
- Employers must provide employees with disabilities access to leave on the same basis as all other similarly-situated employees. If an employer receives a leave request related to a disability that falls within the employer’s existing leave policy, it should treat that employee the same as an employee who requests leave for unrelated disability reasons.
- Employers must consider providing unpaid leave to an employee with a disability as a reasonable accommodation (if it does not create an undue hardship for the employer). The EEOC describes that this would be the case even when the employer does not offer leave as an employee benefit, the employee is not eligible for leave under the policy, or the employee has already exhausted his or her employer-provided leave.
- Employers must treat all requests for leave based on a medical condition as a request for a reasonable accommodation.
- Employers using a maximum leave policy (such as a policy that limits the number or length of unplanned absences in a 12-month period) may have to modify the policy as a reasonable accommodation for disability-related absences.
Electronic Alerts are written by Barran Liebman attorneys for their clients and friends. Alerts are not intended as legal advice, but as employment law, labor law, and employee benefits announcements. If this has been forwarded to you, and you would like to begin receiving Electronic Alerts directly, please email or call Traci Ray at 503-276-2115. Copyright ©2017 by Barran Liebman LLP.
Las Alertas electrónicas son escritas por abogados de Barran Liebman para sus clientes y amigos. Las Alertas no son proveídas como asesoramiento legal, sino solo como anuncios de leyes de empleo, leyes laborales y beneficios de empleo. Si esto ha sido remetido a usted y quisieras empezar a recibir las Alertas directamente, por favor mándanos un correo electrónico o llama a Traci Ray al 503-276-2115. Derechos de autor ©2017 por Barran Liebman LLP.