With assorted accurately appropriate time-off entitlements in play, the administering of agent leave allowances can prove to be a boxy assignment for alike the best accomplished HR professional. Sometimes the boundless arrangement of obligations can accomplish an employer afraid to aish a artisan based on appearance issues. However, by advantageous accurate absorption to both the abundance of and affidavit for agent absences, administration can confidently accomplish their appearance behavior after actionable the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
An agent was absent from assignment due to assorted medical leaves of absence as able-bodied as a cardinal of crooked reasons. In aboriginal October 2014, the agent was warned that he had been absent after leave for a absolute of 110 hours. Pursuant to aggregation policy, added crooked absences would aftereffect in his discharge.
On Oct. 21 and 22, the agent larboard assignment aboriginal after allotment and was after absent. When he alternate to assignment on Oct. 28, he requested that his absences back Oct. 23 be advised as FMLA-protected. The appeal was denied. On Nov. 12, the agent was assured for “excessive absences” in abuse of the company’s appearance policy.
The agent brought a accusation arduous his termination. He declared that his employer had abandoned the FMLA, by abstinent his leave request, and the ADA, by declining to board him with a reasonable accommodation. The lower cloister absolved the claims on arbitrary judgment. The 6th U.S. Circuit Cloister of Appeals affirmed the dismissal.
With account to the FMLA claim, the appeals cloister addressed whether the abnegation of FMLA leave damaged the employee. Because the agent had abandoned the aphorism on boundless absence on Oct. 21 and was after accursed for that violation, the appeals cloister assured that the agent could not accept been damaged by the abnegation of FMLA leave on Oct. 23. In that the agent was assured for an absence breach that occurred two canicule above-mentioned to the date for which he approved FMLA protection, the appeals cloister captivated that no FMLA affirmation could be made.
As for the ADA affirmation of a abortion to analytic accommodate, the agent argued that he was denied a anniversary of medical leave amid Oct. 23 and 30. However, because such leave would not accept fabricated the agent able for application due to his boundless absence that predated Oct. 23, the appeals cloister captivated that the agent was not advantaged to such an accommodation.
[SHRM members-only toolkit: Accommodating Employees’ Disabilities]
The appeals cloister additionally absolved an altercation that the employer denied light-duty assignment as an adaptation based on an allegedly actionable aphorism that appropriate advisers to be 100 percent fit to acknowledgment to work. The requested accommodation—the aishment of abundant appropriation for a aircraft loader—would accept appropriate the abatement of an capital action of the job. As such, behindhand of whether the 100-percent-fit-to-return-to-work aphorism was unlawful, the requested adaptation was absurd and not appropriate to be provided.
Lastly, the agent argued that he should accept been briefly transferred to addition job as an ADA accommodation. However, there was no affirmation that the agent had requested such a transfer. Therefore, the appeals cloister assured that a alteration was not required.
Beckman v. Wal-Mart Stores, 6th Cir., No. 17-2250 (June 27, 2018).
Professional Pointer: Proper administration of agent leaves and absenteeism, including accurate tracking of the acumen or affidavit an agent is out of work, is capital to the allowable administration of abode appearance rules.
Scott M. Wich is an advocate with Clifton Budd & DeMaria LLP in New York City.
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