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FMLA Leave Is Exhausted: How to Address Transfer and ADA Accommodation Requests, Fitness-for-Duty Exams, and More

FMLA Leave Is Exhausted: How to Address Transfer and ADA Accommodation Requests, Fitness-for-Duty Exams, and More

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FMLA Leave Is Exhausted: How to Address Transfer and ADA Accommodation Requests, Fitness-for-Duty Exams, and More

Live Webinar: Tuesday, January 7, 2020

1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern / 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Pacific


WEBINAR SNAPSHOT: Learn how to evaluate your legal rights and obligations when an employee has used up available FMLA leave.



An employee who injured her arm has exhausted leave entitlement under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), but can she safely return to her manual labor position?

What’s the game plan for requesting a fitness-for-duty exam and interpreting its results?

What if the employee’s doctor submits a note stating the need for additional leave for the next three months? Are you obligated to grant that additional time off?

What does it really mean to return an FMLA-protected employee to an “equivalent” position?

And what if it’s unclear as to the duration of the additional leave request—what are your obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in that case?

In Garrison v. Dolgencorp the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled a lower court erred in granting a national dollar store retailer summary judgment on a failure-to-accommodate claim under the ADA. The case arose after a sales associate who had anxiety, depression, and migraines, asked a supervisor via text message about taking a leave of absence. The supervisor told her no leave was available and she could keep working if she could “do the job and not be sick all the time.” Ultimately, the employee had to seek medical attention at the emergency room for gastritis and anxiety. When she asked to take vacation time, her request was denied, and she then quit. Shortly after that, she filed a lawsuit alleging the company had not accommodated her under the ADA. The case underscores the importance of training supervisors and managers on how to proceed when an employee requests a leave of absence even if FMLA protections do not initially or no longer apply.

Join us on January 7 to find out how to legally proceed when FMLA leave is exhausted and you’re unsure as to whether additional leave time may be required under the ADA. Attorney Francine Esposito of Day Pitney will teach you what to consider when evaluating whether you’re able to return a FMLA-protected employee to an “equivalent” position, requesting a fitness-for-duty exam, or granting additional leave time as an ADA accommodation, and more.

After attending this webinar, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify thorny legal issues before they cause you legal grief—so you can effectively and compliantly manage the return-to-work process once an employee exhausts available FMLA leave  
  • Discern whether an employee is entitled to additional time off as an ADA accommodation when FMLA leave expires
  • Legally proceed when a doctor’s note specifies the need for indefinite leave
  • Handle a situation when an employee can’t return to work when available leave expires 
  • Train supervisors and managers on how to avoid legal missteps in how they handle leave requests

About Your Presenter

Francine EspositoFrancine Esposito, Esq.
Partner
Day Pitney

For over 25 years, Francine Esposito, a partner with Day Pitney, has represented employers nationwide at labor arbitrations, before various administrative agencies and in employment-related litigation. She has extensive experience in assisting employers to avoid legal disputes by conducting audits and workplace investigations, designing and presenting training, and giving advice on a wide array of labor and employment-related topics, including but not limited to leave and accommodation issues; discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; compliance with labor law and administration of collective bargaining agreements; discipline, discharge, and reductions in force; drafting effective and legally compliant employment policies and severance, employment, and non-compete agreements; background checks; and wage and hour practices.

Ms. Esposito has represented employers in various industries, including logistics, banking, hospitality, media, healthcare, retail, casino, accounting, real estate, engineering and construction, utility and higher education.

Prior to becoming an attorney, she also worked as a human resources/labor relations professional for major employers.