Medical Leave/Failure to Accommodate

Types of Medical Leave/Failure to Accommodate

Failure to Provide Reasonable Accommodations

A form of disability discrimination, California employers are required to provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee for a known physical or mental disability. The type of accommodation afforded to covered employees varies extensively and may range from for example, granting light duty, telecommuting, providing assistance or a finite leave of absence.

Denial of Medical Leave

Under the Family & Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and California Family Rights Act (“Cal. Gov’t Code §§ 12945.2) (CFRA”), an employee eligible for leave under is entitled to take up to twelve (12) weeks leave from work on an intermittent or consecutive basis for their own medical condition, baby bonding or to care for a family member with a serious medical condition. In order to be eligible for leave under the CFRA, the employer must:
    (1) maintain at least 50 or more full (or part-time) employees within a 75 mile radius of the employee’s worksite;
    (2) employee must have worked for the employer for at least a year prior to taking leave;
    (3) employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours (9 months) prior to taking leave.
If you do not qualify for medical leave under the CFRA, you may still be eligible for a finite leave of absence as a reasonable accommodation. Employers are generally aware that they are required to grant leave under the FMLA or CFRA for eligible employees. However, they routinely disregard the employee’s additional right to be afforded reasonable accommodations in the form of a “finite leave of absence.” Even if the employee is not eligible for CFRA leave, they may still be entitled to a finite leave of absence as a reasonable accommodation. This means that if the employee is either not eligible for CFRA coverage or has exhausted the 12 weeks of leave, they are still entitled to a reasonable accommodation in the form of a leave of absence.

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