Bronx, NY asked in Employment Law for New York

Q: fmla expired I am still disabled and cannot return to work & my co. Is not giving me accurate info on next steps for ext

ASKED FOR EXT LEAVE OF ABSENCE AND THEY TOLD ME TO SPEAK TO MY DOCTOR & REQUEST ADA IS THIS ACCURATE

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1 Lawyer Answer
V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba
PREMIUM
Answered
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: You must be able to perform your job duties with or without a reasonable accommodation.

Extending your FMLA leave might be a reasonable accommodation depending on the circumstances. Have you kept your employer informed of a date certain for when you will return? An open-ended date rarely works. Employers are not required to keep positions open indefinitely unless a contract requires it.

But when employees request extended leave in advance, some employers will allow extended FMLA as an accommodation, even for a year, which courts have found reasonable. But anything beyond that or an indefinite date is often not.

Requesting an accommodation due to disability via extended FMLA leave is different from just FMLA leave. Employees must keep their employers informed of anticipated return to work date(s) along the way.

Your facts do not disclose whether your position is still open. Have you called the employer and asked? Or whether you may need to re-apply? Take notes of who you speak with and what you discuss. Express your continued interest in the position. Provide them with a return date. Simply communicating that information often works unless a communication breakdown occurred. If FMLA expires and the employee has not provided and confirmed a date certain for return employers may assume an employee quit when FMLA expired. That would not be unreasonable. Call and secure your updated doctor's note RTW date. Good luck.

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