On September 20, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a significant opinion for employers in Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc., No. 15-3754 (7th Cir. Sept. 20, 2017), holding that “[t]he ADA is an antidiscrimination statute, not a medical-leave entitlement.” The Seventh Circuit joins the Tenth Circuit in rejecting the EEOC’s position that an extended leave of absence may be required as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. In Hwang v. Kansas State University, 753 F.3d 1159 (10th Cir. 2014), former Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch (now a Supreme Court Justice) found that the plaintiff’s request for a leave of absence beyond the six months provided by the defendant’s leave policies was not a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.
To read more about this important decision, click here.
The Severson decision is a huge win for employers in the Seventh Circuit. Stay tuned to find out if Severson will file a petition for review with the U.S. Supreme Court. However, if he does, it is safe to assume that he has at least one foe (Justice Gorsuch) waiting to weigh in.