Leave Is Not Always an Accommodation

Earlier this week, Brookdale Senior Living Communities, Inc. agreed to pay $112,500 in settlement of an Americans With Disabilities claim. Briefly, here are the allegations, which are quite common:

After the employee took a leave of absence from work due to her disability, fibromyalgia, she requested a reasonable accommodation of a temporary modified work schedule, an ergonomic chair, and adjustments to the lighting of her office. But, whether or not these were “reasonable” was not the issue. The real issue, which all of you should watch for, is that in denying these requests, Brookdale required the employee to remain on leave until she was able to return to work without any restrictions or accommodations.

Even though extended leave may be a reasonable accommodation, requiring an employee with a disability to stay out of work until he/she is 100% healed is a violation of the ADA.

Contact me to learn how ERS can customize affordable training options that meet your specific needs and train your staff on how best to avoid an employee claim.

The UNIQUE perspective of ERS will reduce your risk of a lawsuit!