FMLA and shift change

We have an employee who has been approved for intermittent FMLA for her minor child who has mental issues. The child at times needs to be removed from school and we allow the mother to leave work.

The other day the mother asked if we could move her to second shift so she could better take care of the child if he needs to leave school.

Unfortunately because of production needs we cannot move her out of that department. Are we obligated under FMLA or ADA to accommodate someone who wants to change shifts if it would affect our production needs? I don't think we are but want to check with others. Thanks.


  • 2 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I am unaware of anything in the FMLA that would require you to move the employee to a different shift. You are allowed to transfer an employee to a job/shift that "better accommodates recurring periods of leave" (see 29 C.F.R. 825.204), but there is nothing that requires to do so.

    You might be required to offer a shift change as a reasonable accommodation if the EMPLOYEE was disabled, but there are cases out there specifically stating that employers are not required to offer any accommodation when the disabled person is the employee's family member.

  • Is there someone on second shift that would want to trade with her? I've never had a problem with that - it's always been when the person on second or third wanted to be on first shift.
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