The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently issued new guidance regarding employer leave policies and the American with Disabilities Act. The intersection of the ADA and employee leave is one of the most difficult areas of employment and, not surprisingly, one of its most litigated. Importantly, this new guidance expresses the EEOC’s view that employer policies that cap maximum leave time at a certain amount of days likely run afoul of the ADA as they indicate an employer’s unwillingness to engage in a fact-sensitive inquiry in connection with each employee’s request for leave. The new guidance also expresses the EEOC’s view that 100% healed polices are likely to lead to violations of the ADA because they result in employer’s refusal to grant reasonable accommodations. The guidance also contains helpful scenarios regarding an employee’s right to leave and what length of leave is considered reasonable. The entire guidance is available here on the EEOC’s website.
In light of this new guidance, employers should (1) review their internal policies to insure ADA compliance and (2) train their managers and supervisors on the ADA-mandated interactive process. If you have any questions about disability law or the interactive process, please feel free to contact us.