Disability Discrimination and Disability-Related Absences
Employers have the responsibility to accommodate their employees' disabilities and ensure that they have equal opportunities to succeed in the workplace. Employees with disabilities may need to take time off work for medical appointments or to manage their condition, which can affect their job performance and attendance. Disability discrimination occurs when employers punish employees when they are lawfully allowed to take time off work. At Chanfrau & Chanfrau, with offices in Daytona Beach, FL, and Palm Coast, FL, we discuss what constitutes disability discrimination due to disability-related absences.
The Americans with Disabilities Act and Reasonable Accommodations
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating against employees with disabilities and requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for their employees with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations may include modifying work hours, job duties, or the physical work environment to enable employees with disabilities to perform their jobs. Employers may also offer temporary or permanent job restructuring.
How Long Can Employees with Disabilities Take Time Off Work?
Ultimately, the length of time that an employee with a disability can take off work will depend on the specific circumstances of their situation and the accommodations and leave policies available to them. Employers should work with their employees to determine the best course of action for managing disability-related absences and accommodating their needs.
Employers have a duty to engage with their employees with disabilities to determine whether there are reasonable accommodations that can be made to enable the employee to perform their job duties.
The Family and Medical Leave Act and Disability-Related Absences
If an employee with a disability needs time off work due to their condition, the employer may be required to provide leave as a reasonable accommodation. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible employees with a serious health condition, including a disability-related illness or injury, may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12-month period. The FMLA also requires employers to maintain the employee's health insurance during the leave and to restore the employee to their original position or an equivalent position when they return to work.
Employers should have policies and procedures in place to manage disability-related absences and ensure that their employees are treated fairly and equitably. Employers should also communicate with their employees about their rights and responsibilities regarding disability-related absences, assist in filing the appropriate paperwork, and provide support to help them manage their conditions and return to work when appropriate.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Our attorneys can review the facts of the employee's situation and provide guidance on their legal rights and options. We can help the employee understand whether their employer's actions constitute discrimination and whether they have a viable legal claim.
If an employee believes that they have been discriminated against, we can help them file a complaint with the appropriate agency. Our lawyers can assist the employee in preparing the complaint and representing them throughout the process.
We may be able to negotiate a settlement with the employer on behalf of the employee. This may involve seeking compensation for lost wages or benefits, as well as other damages such as emotional distress.
If a settlement cannot be reached, our lawyers can represent the employee in court. This may involve filing a lawsuit and presenting evidence to prove that the employer engaged in discrimination.
Contact Chanfrau & Chanfrau
Contact Chanfrau & Chanfrau in the Daytona Beach area today to speak with an attorney about your case. Call us at (386) 258-7313 or send us a message online.