Can my employer force me to use FMLA time after I’ve filed for an ADA Job Accommodation for intermittent leave?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can my employer force me to use FMLA time after I’ve filed for an ADA Job Accommodation for intermittent leave?

On December 7, 2015 I filed an Americans with Disabilities Act Job Accommodation
for intermittent leave with my employer. I was told 6 weeks later that my request
was denied because I have FMLA time remaining less than 66 hrs. I’ve informed
my employer that I cannot afford to go back to my doctor to have more FMLA
paperwork file 175 per office visit. My employer is claimining that they don’t
have to honor my ADA Job Accommodation as long as I have FMLA time remaining.
What do I do?

Asked on April 6, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Actually, intermittant leave is not a reasonable accommodation which the employer must grant under the ADA in any event. A reasonable accommodation is some change in rules/procedures, or some provision of assistance technology/devices, which is not too expensive or disruptive and which lets you be at work and do your job. Not being at work--taking leave--is not a "reasonable accommodation" under the law. Rather, the FMLA was passed to allow employees (unpaid) leave time when necessary for medical reasons. Therefore, they do not have to grant your ADA request and can insist you use FMLA.

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