FMLA-Medical Condition #2

Employee is finishing up FMLA for birth of child in a couple of weeks. She will have used all 12 weeks. Has informed me that she has a new medical condition and will not be able to return to work. Does she qualify for a new 12 weeks of leave or is she just out of luck? We base it on anniversary date and her anniversary is in October.


  • 4 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • It's hard to say for sure without more specific information, but in general it sounds like she will not be entitled to additional leave under the FMLA once she has exhausted her 12 weeks this leave year. However, if her new medical condition is one that would be considered a disability under the ADA, you may need to offer her additional leave as a reasonable accommodation.

  • I find that employees sometimes misunderstand that they don't get 12 weeks for each new medical condition, but 12 weeks per 12 month period as defined by company policy.
  • I think a lot of employees don't understand maternity leave is included in FML. Every time one of my employees has been surprised they were out of leave, it involved maternity.
  • I think the employee is out of luck with regard to FMLA. The next question is whether she has a qualifying disability within the meaning of the ADA that would require a reasonable accomodation. This would lead to the next question, which is whether time off is a reasonable accomodation. There is legal authority that time off can be a reasonable accomodation, but I think jurisdictions treat the issue differently regarding how much time off one should get as a reasonable accomodation. The Fourth Circuit has made clear that showing up for work is a job qualification, and an individual who cannot be present for work is not a "qualified" individual with a disability. So there could be two ways to look at it from an ADA standpoint - is is the person still a qualified individual entitled to a reasonable accomodation and, if so, under your circumstances, would the time off be a reasonable accomodation.
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