Friday, August 8, 2014

Employer Fined $1.35 Million for Leave Policy Failing to Consider FMLA Extensions for ADA Accommodation

HealthCare System recently settled a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that its leave of absence policy violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The settlement will require Princeton HealthCare to pay $1.35 million, undertake remedial measures, and be subject to compliance monitoring by the EEOC. The settlement serves as notice to all employers that the EEOC continues to aggressively pursue leave of absence policies that it deems violate the ADA.  
The EEOC's lawsuit, filed in New Jersey Federal Court, alleged that Princeton HealthCare's fixed leave policy violated the ADA by failing to consider a continued leave of absence as a reasonable accommodation. Princeton HealthCare's leave policy tracked the requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act by limiting employees to a maximum of 12 weeks of leave. Princeton HealthCare terminated the employment of employees who failed to return to work after exhaustion of 12 weeks of leave. In addition, employees who were ineligible for FMLA leave were terminated after shorter leaves of absence....