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Florida Healthcare Employer Will Pay $375K to Resolve Suit Over Inflexible Leave Policy

September 09, 2019

Another employer has felt the wrath of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC or Agency) over what the Agency describes as an "inflexible 12-week maximum leave policy." Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare, Inc, has agreed to pay $375,000 to a class of employees to settle allegations that the policy violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The settlement also resolves allegations that when employees with disabilities requested additional leave beyond the FMLA, Tallahassee Memorial denied the requests instead of engaging in an interactive process with each individual to determine if he or she could be accommodated. This, too, runs afoul of the ADA. The EEOC has long made clear its position on inflexible leave policies, stating that employers "must consider providing unpaid leave to an employee with a disability as a reasonable accommodation if the employee requires it, and so long as it does not create an undue hardship for the employer."