Navigating the Intersection of FMLA, ADA, and Workers' Compensation
It is three o’clock on a Friday afternoon. You are in your office and a client calls seeking advice regarding an employment matter. The client explains that a long-term employee, who sustained an on the job injury several months ago, has yet to return to work due to ongoing medical treatment related to her injury and she is receiving workers’ compensation benefits. The employee, who has a physically demanding job in the client’s warehouse, indicated to her supervisor a few days ago that she might be able to return to work if she is given an accommodation of no lifting of more than 25 pounds, no bending, or no twisting. Alternatively, she requests a further leave of absence beyond her allotted Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave entitlement. The client is frustrated. She is tired of waiting for the employee to return to work, she cannot accommodate the employee’s restrictions, and she has started to interview candidates to fill the position. The client asks you, “What am I supposed to do with this employee?” After you finish your call with the client, you begin to realize that to resolve the client’s problem you will have to navigate through the difficult intersection of the FMLA, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the workers’ compensation law.
Scott Casher and George Morrison address these issues in their article, "Navigating the Intersection of the FMLA, ADA and Workers' Compensation."