Does an employer have to treat similar disabilities the same?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Does an employer have to treat similar disabilities the same?

For example, under the ADA an employer must provide a reasonable accommodation. My employer has traditionally not approved intermittent time off under the ADA that meets or exceeds the employees work schedule regardless of the disability. If time off is needed that meets or exceeds a work schedule, we refer them to a block leave of absence rather than intermittent. If 2 employees who both have similar conditions apply for leave and we approve 1 person for intermittent time that meets or exceeds their work schedule but tell the other employee we cannot do that and he/she must take a block leave of absence or adjust the intermittent time to not meet or exceed their work schedule. Are we legally vulnerable to a


Asked on April 20, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you do make yourself vulnerable because by granting intermittant leave to employee 1, you show that you *could* grant such leave and that doing so clearly does not present an unreasonable cost or hardship for you. You will be creating evidence that this would be a reasonable accommodation, and so would provide support for employee 2 to contend or file a claim based on that you should have done this for him/her, too.

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