Americans with Disabilities Act may afford additional leave to employees following FMLA leave.
Walker worked for a nursing home facility operated by NP Chipola, LLC, and due to her duties of lifting patients through the years, she required shoulder surgery. The employee notified the employer that she would be out for six months for shoulder surgery and wished to return to work as soon as she was able to but anticipated being out for six months. Once the employee was cleared to come back to work, the employer denied there were any openings for her, and she was then forced to be terminated or to resign. The employee chose to resign. The court held that the employee’s request to return to work after six months constituted a request for a reasonable accommodation that, in light of the situation, could have easily been granted by the employer. It was the employer’s position that it only had to grant the employee 12 weeks under the FMLA and that it did not have the ability to rehire the employee. The court ruled that, based upon the facts of this case—the employer having numerous employees, high turnover, stellar employment record by the employee, etc.—once the FMLA 12-week period was up, the employer was required to grant the employee the reasonable accommodation of an additional three months of unpaid leave and guarantee employment upon her return. Therefore, the ADA may provide additional leave to employees following their 12-week leave under the FMLA.
Case Law Alerts, 2nd Quarter, April 2017
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