Tag Archives: attendance

Extending Leave Was Not A Reasonable Accommodation Under The ADA Where There Was A Lack Of “Certainty” About Return To Work Date

While employers generally accept that they cannot apply a maximum leave period after which employees are automatically terminated, they continue to struggle with how much leave must be provided as a form of accommodation under the ADA.  There is little dispute that leave for an indefinite period where the employee has a long term chronic … Continue Reading

Fear of Failure – Terminating Employees with Extensive FMLA and non-FMLA Absences

It’s a scenario that frustrates many employers.  An employee with extensive intermittent FMLA absences, possibly including absences for different covered reasons, is also absent for many unspecified or unprotected reasons which lead to progressive discipline.  The employee’s absences eventually reach the point of warranting termination and the employee does not provide additional medical information to … Continue Reading

Breaks and Flexible Hours Not a Reasonable ADA Accommodation for Frequently Absent Employee, Court Holds

Employers can easily feel overwhelmed when it comes to enforcing employee attendance standards while providing reasonable accommodation to employees with chronic health conditions. Increasingly, however, court decisions such as Williams v. AT&T Mobility Services LLC are providing much-needed guidance regarding the scope of an employer’s duty to accommodate. The Williams case illustrates how carefully-designed policies, frequent communication, … Continue Reading

Ohio Means Business: New Law Prohibits Cities and Counties From Enacting Paid Sick Leave, Predictive Scheduling, and Minimum Wage Laws

Imagine you operate multiple business locations in Columbus, Ohio where 3 counties comprise the city proper and as many as 11 counties comprise the larger Columbus Metropolitan Area. Now imagine that each of those counties adopts their own local ordinance requiring paid sick leave as well as advance notice (and extra pay) to employees before … Continue Reading

Boat Analyst’s Disability Claim Does Not Hold Water

A Coast Guard analyst unable to maintain regular and predictable attendance due to various debilitating conditions was not entitled to her requested accommodations of telecommuting and a later start time, according to a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Doak v. Johnson, Sec’y US Dep’t of Homeland Security … Continue Reading

Attendance is Essential Function under ADA for PICC Nurse

  Whenever a court holds that coming to work is an essential function of an on-site job, it is worthy noting given what seems to be frequent challenges to this common sense principle. In Mecca v. Florida Health Services Center, Inc. (M.D. FL, February 3, 2014). the court held that coming to work is an … Continue Reading

Flexible Work Schedule Not a Reasonable Accommodation under ADA When Punctual, Regular Attendance is an Essential Function

A flexible work schedule is not a reasonable accommodation if it will not allow the employee to perform the essential functions of her job, which can include regular and punctual attendance, according to the Tenth Circuit. Murphy v Samson Resources Co. (10th Cir. May 8, 2013). The court affirmed summary judgment in favor of the … Continue Reading

Indiana Legislature Puts Kibosh On Local Attendance and Leave Laws

The Indiana Legislature has passed a bill prohibiting local government units from requiring  private sector employers to provide employees “an attendance or leave policy”… “that exceeds the requirements of federal or state law, rules, or regulations.” A sponsor of SB 213 said its goal was to prevent a “hodge-podge” of different employment benefits and laws … Continue Reading

EEOC Does Not Issue ADA Attendance Guidance, Yet Again

The extent of an employer’s obligation to extend leave and excuse absences as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA is perhaps the most vexing ADA issue for employers. In June 2011, the EEOC held a public hearing on leave as a reasonable accommodation, and suggested it might issue guidance on the topic in 2011. When … Continue Reading

Regular Attendance is Essential Function of ICU Nurse Post; Request for Unlimited Absences Unreasonable

 Whether and to what extent attendance is an essential job function is perhaps the most vexing ADA issue. In Samper v. Providence St. Vincent Medical Center (9th Cir April 11, 2012), the plaintiff, an ICU neo-natal nurse with fibromyalgia, asked to “opt out” of the employer’s unplanned absence policy as an accommodation.  In a remarkably refreshing … Continue Reading

6th Circuit Rejects Claim that Doctor’s Note Requirement is an Unlawful Disability Inquiry; Distinguishes “Nature of the Illness” from “General Diagnosis

Nuance is important in legal analysis. A recent 6th Circuit case dealing with employer policies requiring an employee returning from sick leave to provide a doctor’s note illustrates the point.   In Lee v. The City of Columbus, the 6th Circuit held that the Columbus Police Department’s requirement that the doctor’s note include the “the nature … Continue Reading

Excusing Absences as a Reasonable Accommodation–Part 2

 The "law" or "lore" requiring employers to accommodate employees by excusing absence has reshaped employer attendance and productivity expectations.  Some say the law, as interpreted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, goes too far and creates an elusive and unworkable standard for managing employee attendance and productivity.  To assist our clients and contacts in separating … Continue Reading
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