An understanding of where the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and state regulations intersect is required when determining whether an employee is “entitled” to be intermittently absent from work because of a medical condition. Individualized assessment is necessary to determine if intermittent leave is required as a “reasonable accommodation” under the ADA, in part because repeated absences from work most likely mean the person is unable to perform “essential job functions.”
ADA evaluations must be job-related and consistent with business necessity. The FMLA, on the other hand, entitles employees to intermittent leave when “medically necessary,” a determination made through completion of the certification form DOL WH 380. An FMLA-qualified medical condition may or may not be work-related.
Under the FMLA, employees must provide advance notice of their need for intermittent leave, but only as much as is practical under the circumstances. Practicality remains open to legal interpretation. An evaluating occupational medicine physician may consult with an employee’s personal physician about an employee’s medical condition – such as depression or migraine headaches that may cause intermittent absences – but only after first getting the employee’s permission.
This tip courtesy of Francis P. Alvarez, J.D., Jackson Lewis LLP, White Plains, NY; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The professionals at Central Coast Industrial Care can help you with a lot of the answers.
In the meantime check out 5 FMLA Questions Almost All Managers Can’t Answer!