Monday, January 18, 2016

Quality Guidance on When to Extend or Deny an Extension of FMLA Under the ADA

Here is some wise counsel from a session featuring FMLA Insights founder Jeff Nowak and EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum as reported in HR Morning by Tim Gould:
[O]nly conducting the undue hardship analysis after an employee has already exhausted his or her FMLA leave [is a mistake]. ...[B]usinesses can assess whether additional leave will present an “undue hardship” on “day one” of an employee’s FMLA leave. And to present a solid case for undue hardship, they should probably be doing just that. ...

[T]he specific factors that can help an employer deny additional leave as a reasonable accommodation ... include...:
  • Significant losses in productivity because work is completed by less effective, temporary workers or last-minute substitutes, or overtired, overburdened employees working OT who may be slower and more susceptible to error
  • Lower quality and less accountability for quality
  • Lost sales
  • Less responsive customer service and increased customer dissatisfaction
  • Deferred projects
  • Increased burden on management staff required to find replacement workers, or readjust workflow or readjust priorities in light of absent employees, and
  • Increased stress on overburdened co-workers.