Employees who qualify for protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) can take up to twelve weeks of leave without fear of losing their job. The FMLA affords employees the opportunity to address injuries and illnesses – but what happens when an employee is unable to return to work once their FMLA protected leave expires? Most employees who are unable to return to work will likely lose their jobs. However, the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) allows disabled employees to seek additional leave via a reasonable accommodations request.
A leave of absence that exceeds what is permitted under the FMLA, by itself, is not sufficient to show undue hardship. In other words, your employer has a duty to engage in the interactive process if you request additional leave as a reasonable accommodation following the exhaustion of FMLA protected leave.
An experienced employment attorney can assess the facts of your case and determine whether your employer has taken the necessary steps to address your request for a reasonable accommodation.