ADA and accommodation

We have an employee whose disability we've accommodated with a flexible schedule but he still has a lot of medical appointments during the work day and still calls in sick a lot. His attendance is so erratic that his co-workers can't count on him and it's starting to affect the way the department operates.  Management is pushing for termination.  Any suggestions on how to handle?


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  • Beware here - this one has a lot of danger signs. Think about FMLA (state and federal), if the employee qualifies for a serious health condition. If so, he may be entitled to protected intermittent leave -- remember to get certification and give proper FMLA notice.

    Under the ADA you should also be careful. The employee's leave could be a reasonable accommodation, so long as the leave does not place a substaintial /undue burden on the employer's operations. If there is a way to decrease the effect on operations and still allow the employee to take leave, then consider the option. Leave can be provided as a reasonable accommodation, so long as the leave given can reasonably be expected to allow the employee to return to work within a reasonable time frame.

     Finally, terminating a protected employee is always a mine field. Even assuming you clear the ADA and FMLA hurdles above, you still have to carefully document all of your efforts to accommodate the employee and provide any leave he is entitled to . . . Good luck!

  • I would agree with this post. The thing that you have to understand is this condition may be covered under FMLA and ADA. Know what your company policies are on this before you take any action.  If you have company counsel, I would seek their advice, but always remember that an accommodation does not give any employee a free pass- they must be able to perform the essential functions of the job. I wish you the best.
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