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In Our Judgment

The official Frantz, McConnell, and Seymour, LLP blog.

Federal Appeals Court Rejects Extended Unpaid Leave as Reasonable Accommodation for a Disability

Federal Appeals Court Rejects Extended Unpaid Leave as Reasonable Accommodation for a Disability

One of the most difficult recurring problems for employment lawyers is the employee who requests an extended unpaid medical leave with the expectation that she be able to return to work when medically cleared months later. The common fact pattern involves an employer subject to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) being informed that an employee who is about to exhaust her 12 weeks FMLA leave still is not able to return to work due to a medical condition. The FMLA only guarantees to employees a maximum of 12 weeks unpaid leave within a 12 month period. It does not require an employer to extend that leave, nor does it penalize the employer for terminating an employee who is unable to return to work after exhaustion of FMLA leave.

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