I have previously discussed how the ADA may require that
employers provide unpaid leaves of absence to disabled employees of more than
Later this week, the EEOC will hold a public meeting to
discuss this very issue. According to the EEOC's
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, June 8, at 9:30 a.m. (Eastern Time), ...
to examine the use of leave as a reasonable accommodation.... The Commission will
hear from invited panelists on the appropriate use of disability leave as a
reasonable accommodation and on complying with relevant regulations
Considering that the Agency's agenda includes a
discussion of "how to comply with the law and appropriately permit leave to
employees," I do not expect to hear any paradigm-shifting revelations. Instead,
this meeting should merely highlight for employers the importance of
considering an unpaid leave of absence as a reasonable accommodation, and the
illegality of inflexible and hard-capped leave of absence policies.
Nevertheless, the EEOC is using these public meetings to
highlight regulatory and enforcement issues it is prioritizing (e.g., the use
of employment status and credit history as hiring criteria, and the plight of older workers). Because the EEOC appears to
be targeting leaves of absence for heightened enforcement, employers should pay
special attention to this issue. I will have a full summary of the EEOC's
public meeting later this week.
[Hat tip: Workplace Prof Blog]
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