California Employment Law Blog

Not So Fast: Extended Leave May Be a Reasonable Accommodation

Posted by Timothy B. Del Castillo | Nov 09, 2017 | 0 Comments

Man reaching

Sometimes employers assume that if they provide all the medical leave required under the FMLA or CFRA, they may terminate an employee upon expiration of the leave.  However, determining whether a disabled employee has exhausted all available leave should not be the only inquiry employers engage in before terminating employees with medical issues.  The law is clear that extending a leave of absence beyond the time provided by required leave laws such as the FMLA and CFRA may be a reasonable accommodation of a disability under the ADA or FEHA.  

Employees must provide disabled employees with reasonable accommodations if doing so will allow the employee to perform the essential functions of the job without undue hardship on the employer.  One reasonable accommodation may be some additional time off of work, even after statutorily required leave has expired.  On the other hand, the law is also clear that employers are not required to provide an "indefinite" leave of absence.   Especially if an employee provides a doctor's note extending leave with an end date in sight, which may be viewed as a request for accommodation, employers should engage in the interactive process with employees to determine if the request for additional unpaid time off can be accommodated before making a termination decision.  The upshot for employers is to have a procedure in place to ensure that potential disability accommodation requirements are considered before employees unable to return from medical leave are terminated. 

About the Author

Timothy B. Del Castillo

Tim practices employment law in California and represents both employees and employers in federal and state courts, administrative hearings, arbitrations, mediations, and in direct negotiations. Tim also offers advice and counsel and training to businesses to help them achieve compliance with California employment laws.

Comments

There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

QUALITY REPRESENTATION FROM A TRUSTED ADVISOR.

Castle Law’s goal is to become your trusted advisor and to provide real value for all of your employment law needs. To become our client’s trusted advisors, we aim to provide quality representation and sound advice time and again.

FREE CONSULTATION.

There is no charge for the initial phone consultation. Attorney Tim Del Castillo will personally speak with you about your case and provide you with an honest analysis. Fill out the contact form on the website with detailed information about your circumstances and we will schedule a telephone appointment.

Copyright © 2018 Tim Del Castillo

Attorney Timothy B. Del Castillo is responsible for the content on this website, which may contain an advertisement. The information on this website does not constitute an attorney-client relationship and no attorney-client relationship is formed until conflicts have been cleared and both parties have signed a written fee agreement. Please do not send any confidential information through the website. The materials and information on this website are for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice. PRIOR RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE FUTURE OUTCOMES. Any testimonials or endorsements do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.

Menu