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ADA and preeclampsia

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  • ADA and preeclampsia

    We have a preeclamptic employee who will need about 24 weeks off. Obviously, 12 will be covered under FMLA. What kind of reasonable accomodation would be required here? She is the only employee able to do her job in our facility of roughly 55 employees.

  • #2
    In what state is this?
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


    • #3
      Sorry, Wisconsin


      • #4
        None. Temporary medical conditions don't require an employer to make accommodations. Wisconsin's FMLA only provides 2 weeks for an employee's illness, which runs concurrently with the federal FMLA.

        What type of accommodation, if any, do you WANT to make?


        • #5
          We will most likely make this happen - she's a good employee and the cost savings alone for 6 months would be enough to accomodate her request. I was just curious, from a worst case scenerio, if this condition would be covered under ADA and how reasonable we had to be. I appreciate your help.


          • #6
            If she's a steller employee with unique skills, yes, it undoubtedly would make good business sense to voluntarily extend her the addditional leave time. My only suggestion is that you document the reasons in her file for treating her more generously/differently than you might other employees. If John Doe wants 24 weeks of medical leave down the road and you're not inclined to grant it, you want to make sure that you can demonstrate that the reasons were her skills, abilities, unique qualifications, etc. and not gender/pregnancy.


            • #7
              >>if this condition would be covered under ADA and how reasonable we had to be<<

              To respond to that one piece, there is no specific time limit specified in ADA. ADA requires a "reasonable" accommodation but it does not specify that X days are reasonable but Y days are not. You don't really expect, do you, that laws be so specific that anyone could follow them and all those lawyers would be out of work?

              Generally speaking from case law I've seen regarding FMLA and ADA, if an ee is out for 12 weeks of FMLA, and still needs a week or two and could qualify for ADA as well, granting an extra week or two would be a reasonable accommodation, but most courts would probably say granting another 12 weeks is not reasonable. Of course there is nothing to prevent an er from being more generous than the law requires, and most good er's are willing to go the extra mile for good ee's. But as Beth said, it is important to document why you are making an exception here. That way you provide yourself some defense if a poor ee who you'd rather fire anyway comes along, and wants to take off half the year, and then starts screaming discrimination when you say no.
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