Best Ohio FMLA Lawyer Answer: Can my job require me to stay on FMLA leave until I have a doctor’s note clearing me of all restrictions? I had to go on FMLA leave from work and I was given restrictions by my doctor for when I return but my supervisor said I have to stay on FMLA leave until I no longer have restrictions, is that lawful? My manager doesn’t want to help me return to work from FMLA leave or discuss my medical condition, can I sue for disability discrimination?
Under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), an employee has the right to take leave for their own serious medical condition or an immediate family member such as their son/daughter/spouse/parent. An employee, under the FMLA, has a right to take the leave and return to work with protection to take the leave without interference or retaliation, as our Ohio FMLA lawyers have discussed earlier here. This means an employer cannot interfere by refusing to provide FMLA paperwork nor can they retaliate as the situation alludes to above, refuse to provide an accommodation when they return from work. Under Section 104(A)(2) of the FMLA, the employer is prohibited from engaging in acts that “result in the loss of any employment benefit accrued prior to the date on which the leave commenced.”
The right to request an accommodation for a disability under Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) is certainly a benefit of employment an employer cannot take away for an employee. As our disability discrimination attorneys have discussed previously, the ADA gives an employee a right to request an accommodation for a recognized disability under the act. Employers cannot refuse to discuss an accommodation for a disability because an employee has taken protected leave under the FMLA.
Recently, in a recent disability discrimination and FMLA lawsuit, a senior living facility was sued for refusing to discuss an accommodation with an employee returning from FMLA leave. Bernandine Adams, an employee of the senior living facility, was diagnosed for fibromyalgia and took FMLA leave to treat the condition. Adams contacted the facility after her leave to request reasonable accommodations such as an ergonomic chair, adjusted lighting in her office and a part-time schedule for eight days. Brookdale forced Adams to return to leave and told her she could not come back to work until she had a full medical release of all restrictions from her doctor. Brookdale further informed Adams her requests were unreasonable. Given her boss’s conduct, Adams filed a charge with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). Seven days after filing the charge, Brookdale fired Adams, which of course reeks of retaliation. Because the EEOC could not resolve the claim, suit was filed.
As hindsight may have taught Brookdale, an employer cannot refuse to engage in the interactive process required by the ADA by forcing an employee to stay on FMLA leave until they can work without restrictions. Allowing employers to do so would allow them to utilize FMLA leave in a way it was not intended—to effectively punish employees and deprive them of rights they have as employees to thwart or refuse to engage in an accommodation required by state and federal law. Moreover, your company cannot retaliate against you for opposing discriminatory practices or reporting those discriminatory practices .
Having to live with a disability is difficult enough without worrying about the effect it may have on your job. If you are disabled or your employer perceives you as being disabled; and you have been fired, wrongfully terminated, discriminated against, demoted, wrongfully disciplined, denied wages, or even think that you might need a disability discrimination lawyer, then call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation.If you feel that you are being denied leave rights under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or are being retaliated against for taking medical leave, you should call the right attorney as quickly as possible to schedule a free and confidential consultation. The phone number to contact an Ohio attorney for FMLA help is (216) 291-4744. While you focus on your family medical needs, let our FLMA attorneys focus on your medical leave rights.
This employment law website is an advertisement. The materials available at the top of this medical leave page and on this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking, “how do I get medical leave under the FMLA?”, “what should I do when my job won’t give me medical leave?”, “can my boss deny me medical leave?”, “what should I do if I was fired in retaliation for taking FMLA leave?”, or “is my employer allowed to…?”, your best option is to contact an Ohio medical leave attorney to obtain advice with respect to FMLA questions or any particular employment law issue. If you are still asking, “how do I get a work accommodation for my disability?”, “am I disabled under the ADA?”, “what should I do if…” or “can my boss fired me for …”, it would be best for you to contact an Ohio attorney to obtain advice with respect to disability discrimination questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, LLC, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.