Terry Corbell, The Biz Coach
By Terry Corbell
Business Consultant

Avoid EEOC Legal Hassles over Unpaid Leave Requirements



You might want to review your current human resource policies.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has continued to push employers on unpaid leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Why?

Employers are still falling into trouble with the federal agency.

Managers are aware of the EEOC dictates on leave, but ostensibly aren’t fully aware of the circumstances that require it. That includes how much leave should be allowed.

ID-10041427For instance, the EEOC hammers away at equal access to leave.

All employees should receive the same consideration – when disabled employees desire leave under leave policy – that goes even for employees who want leave for reasons that don’t relate to disability.

If you give an employee without documentation paid time off for any reason with little notice, all employees must be given it.

On the other hand, if you require documentation for sick leave, all other employees must provide documentation.

FMLA

Employers have been sanctioned after they haven’t granted unpaid leave under ADA guidelines if workers request after they have used up their leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

The EEOC also requires additional unpaid leave even it isn’t covered by company policy – unless it would be an undue hardship on the company.

Plus, after maxing out leave, employers must consider allowing more unpaid time under the ADA.

Duration of leave

Employers must consider granting leave as a “reasonable accommodation” whenever employees ask for intermittent or continuous under the ADA.

The EEOC considers leave as a reasonable accommodation only if the company allows an employee to return to work after exhausting the leave. In this instance, it isn’t considerable reasonable if an employee asks for indefinite leave.

When a worker estimates the date of returning to work, the employer must contemplate if the leave would cause undue hardship.

The company must consider whether or not an additional request to extend the person’s leave would create undue hardship.

The EEOC doesn’t specify what constitutes undue hardship. Each employee and the employer is situationally different.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related resources:

How to avoid EEOC Discrimination Suits — Here are six tips for micro-companies and 13 strategies for larger organizations to avoid EEOC migraines.

10 Tips on Responding to EEOC Complaints — Despite all the court cases, warnings and complaints filed at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a study shows big companies are guilty of favoritism in their promotion practices. If you’re so accused, here’s what to do.

Effectively Manage ADA Issues in Your Facilities and HR — Disabled persons have had both valid and invalid complaints about the workplace. Such complaints concern your facilities and human resources program. Here are strategies to consider implementing.

Legal HR Issues? Best Practices in Workplace Investigations — As an employer, one of your biggest nightmares can be issues involving your employees. There can be many reasons to conduct an investigation. “Action expresses priorities,” said Mohandas Gandhi. So you should act quickly.

HR Tips to Avoid Legal Hassles with Immigration and Customs Enforcement — Employers have been having problems with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Here’s how to avoid issues.

Why Companies Fall into the Management Lawsuit Trap — Small and many big companies are ripe for EEOC complaints. The majority of lawsuits targeting management usually stem from a half dozen poor practices. You’ll get into trouble using these six bad practices.

Strategies: If a Valued Employee Wants a Raise, and Money’s Tight — Many companies don’t have a compensation policy. And your company might be like the majority of small businesses or nonprofits in this uncertain economy – having difficulty funding even merit raises. So what’s the right thing to do with a valued employee who asks for a raise, whether or not you’re the final decision-maker?

“When you straddle a thing it takes a long time to explain it.”

-Will Rogers


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy Ambro at www.freedigitalphotos.net

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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.