What accommodations must be made to an employee on FMLA?

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What accommodations must be made to an employee on FMLA?

Being forced to do the most complex work in the department being on intermittent FMLA. Received a letter from doctor to be transferred into a lesser position but refused by HR although there are open positions for which I am qualified. No other accomodations presented by employer.

Asked on September 22, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) does not actually require any accomodations in terms of duties, structure or conditions of job, etc.; all FMLA does is give a qualifying employee, working for a qualifying business, the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid medical leave. However, employers don't need to alter the job.

IF your condition qualifies as a "disability"--and not all illnesses or medical conditions do--then an employer may have to make reasonable accomodations, if possible, to your condition. However, what is reasonable is a largely a matter of judgment. For example, say that you *can* do your "complex" job. If you can do it, then even if it might be easier for you to have a lesser position, your employer might not be required to transfer you--after all, if you can do the job safely, perhaps you don't need an accomodation.

If you believe that your condition may qualify as a disability, or just want to check, and also want to see what accomodations might be reasonable, you should speak with experienced employment counsel.


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