When Should Leave be Provided as a Reasonable Accommodation?
In 2015, charges of discrimination filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) alleging employer violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) reached a new high and increased 6% from the previous year. The EEOC’s analysis of these charges revealed that many arose out of an employer’s refusal to allow leave as a reasonable accommodation. In response to what the EEOC called a “troubling trend,” on May 6, 2016, the EEOC issued a Resource Document titled Employer-Provided Leave and the American’s with Disabilities Act. The purpose of the resource document is to address employer policies that deny or unlawfully restrict the use of leave as a reasonable accommodation. The Resource Document not does carry the same weight as an official EEOC Guidance, as it has not been voted on by the entire Commission. However, it is still a useful resource for employers trying to navigate employee requests for additional leave as a reasonable accommodation.
The EEOC Resource Document is found at https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/ada-leave.cfm.