While some Milwaukee employers were undoubtedly cheered by a recent Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision, some employment law attorneys encourage employers to regardless be cautious. The court held in Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc. that employers can deny a leave of absence as an accommodation for a disability.
Some people have questions about an employer's responsibility to offer leave to employees. These questions have recently been decided upon by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal appellate court covering Wisconsin and neighboring states. A worker who has exhausted Family and Medical Leave Act time off may request additional leave though the Americans with Disabilities Act, but is the employer required to honor the ADA request?
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals may have indicated a new approach in a thorny issue for employers and employees alike. Since the 7th Circuit has jurisdiction over Wisconsin and neighboring states, the ruling of the court will have the most effect here. The Family and Medical Leave Act gives employees 12 weeks of unpaid leave to take in the event of a medical need, but what is the responsibility of the employer to offer reasonable accommodation after that?
Federal law protects employees who have to take foreseeable or sudden leave from their jobs. A law called the Family and Medical Leave Act gives employees who meet certain qualifications up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from the job every 12 months without endangering their employment status. If an employer in Wisconsin prevents an employee from taking FMLA, or retaliates against the employee for taking the leave, that is known as FMLA interference.
At any time, a person in Wisconsin might find themselves needing to take time away from a job in order to tend to a personal or family matter. In some situations, such leave is provided under either the state or federal family and medical leave laws. While the concept of both laws is similar in that employees are guaranteed the right to take this time off for qualifying events without fear of losing their jobs, there are differences that people should understand.
For individuals suffering with addiction, treatment has not always been easy to come by. Persons with addictions face stigma, lack of access and concerns about losing their job. Substance use disorder is a protected disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as long as the individual is no longer using or if they are in a treatment program. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) can also support people who need time off from their job to participate in addiction treatment. A recent news story shares how people in Wisconsin and other states may use this federal law to support their recovery.
Many employers offer vacation time and sick leave to help accommodate employees who need to miss work. However, in some cases, employees need to leave work for long periods of time and have not been able to accrue enough vacation time or sick leave. Fortunately, under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees can receive additional leave under certain circumstances.