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"Seventh Circuit Hands Employers Big ADA Win; Rejects EEOC's Long-Term Medical Leave of Absence Guidance" (Spectrum Insurance Risk & Business Magazine)

September 21, 2017

Few employment issues confound employers as much as employee requests for medical leaves of absence. Most employers know that the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) and similar state laws provide covered employees at least twelve weeks of unpaid leave for various reasons.That requirement seems simple enough, but the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state laws like the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA) complicate the FMLA’s seemingly straightforward leave entitlement.

Some employers do not realize that, once an employee exhausts the FMLA leave entitlement (or if the employee is not eligible for FMLA leave at all), the employee may be entitled to additional protections under the ADA, WFEA, or similar laws in other states. For employers already aware of these issues, it may seem that, according to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), an employer’s obligation to provide leave has no bounds. According to the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which oversees federal courts in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, the ADA does not complicate leave requests as much as the EEOC has led us to believe.

To read the full article, please click the PDF link above.

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