MEDICAL LEAVE AND ADA/ADAAA
There are two very good articles circulating that union leaders should read. The first comes from the law firm of Constangy, Brooks & Smith, and it explains EEOC’s approach to leave requests for medical disabilities. It highlights five aspects of that approach that should help union reps trying to assist members–although it is written for employers.
1. An “inflexible period” of leave will not satisfy ADA requirements.
2. “Appropriate leave” requires an “individualized assessment” when the designated leave period expires, if not before.
3. Keep your friends close, and your leave administrator and ADA decision-maker closer.
4. Ya gotta talk to the employee. (FEDSMILL Note: This portion refers to the ADA “interactive process,” which many, many employers fail to use and is the basis for disabled employees getting reinstatement, back pay and damages. If you are not familiar with the concept, Google it along with the keywords “ADA” and “diability.”
5. Better get used to being sued by the EEOC.
The second article comes from the San Angelo Standard Times writer Dick Baggett. The ADA was recently amended and is now commonly known as the ADAAA. The primary change is that the amended law makes it easier for an employee to be defined as disabled, thereby overturning the repeated attack by the conservative Supreme Court majority over the last 15 years on the ADA. The article’s primary value is the clarity with which it explains how the concept of disabled has been expanded.
Check both of these out for those situations where a member needs more than the standard FMLA 12 weeks to recover from a medical problem.