No one hopes to take a leave of absence from work. But, it’s a prospect that employers must prepare for, and prepare for well.
ADA leave is quite nuanced, and covers a range of options for employees. But the details of what an employer must accommodate are somewhat murky.
In this article, we cover some of an employer’s responsibilities, how those responsibilities affect the workplace, and some strategies for preparing and handling ADA leaves of absence.
The Americans with Disabilities Act applies to all employers with 15 or more employees. ADA leave applies to all employees who experience substantial limitations in one or more major life activities. These limitations are due to physical or mental impairments.
Although ADA covers all states, the details of coverage vary between each state and place of work. 12 weeks is a fairly standard amount of disability leave, but some employers may offer more or less.
What Are Your Responsibilities As An Employer?
Any employee meeting these qualifications have the right to a work leave of absence, including federally regulated employees. A workplace accommodation can help employees with disabilities or impairments, but may not be a perfect solution.
Whether it’s short-term disability leave, in which your employee needs a short period away from work, or something more long-term, employers must make accommodations to employees requesting to take disability leave.
There is no set amount of ADA leave that employers must grant. Each ADA leave of absence is dealt with on a case-by-case basis. The length of leave is partially determined by the employee’s length of service as well as the effect on day-to-day functions within the workplace.
If an employee’s absence will seriously impact how a workplace functions, it’s time to reach an agreement. In this instance, an employer would be required to make some kind of ADA accommodation.
This could include adjusted hours at work, a work from home setup, or some other accommodation that would allow the employee to continue working.
It is helpful for an employer to reach out to an employee before and during the leave of absence. If an ADA leave of absence is planned, discussing the absence and making a plan for return can leave both parties more clear-headed about the situation.
An employer may contact an employee during leave to check in on their health as related to their leave of absence and also ensure that the employee is still on track to return to work at the specified time.
Disability leave services can be incredibly helpful for employers. Having ADA Accommodation experts on your side can greatly improve your ability to handle ADA leave requests properly. They can also be a fabulous resource for your employees who may be new to disability leave.
How to Handle a Leave of Absence
If you are untangling a leave of absence for the first time, don’t do it alone. Solutions Northwest, Inc. has an outstanding team of ADA Accommodation experts on standby to help your company. Contact us today for more information.
We are ready to help make a leave of absence an easy process. Your employees will thank you, and you can rest easy knowing the process is complete.
At Solutions Northwest Inc., we can help you find a vocational expert or give you general vocational consulting. Our vocational experts are involved in personal injury, workers’ compensation, ADA Accommodation, and family law.
Contact us today to make an appointment. Subscribe to our blog for more work related tips from Solutions Northwest, Inc., experts available in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, WA.
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