Practice Areas | Practice Groups

Leaves of Absence/Reasonable Accommodation

Managing leaves and reasonably accommodating employees can be complex, frustrating, and expose employers to legal peril. Employers must navigate a bewildering array of state and federal statutes, with seemingly contradictory mandates. Supervisors complain that leaves and reasonable accommodation negatively affect operations. Courts and juries constantly second-guess if employers could have done just a little more. The threat of retaliation claims constantly looms.

Our practice group attorneys have extensive experience in all of these areas. We focus on finding practical solutions that minimize both legal risks and impact on operations. We provide compliance solutions, offer supervisor training, and litigate these issues in state and federal court. We also keep clients constantly informed of the latest legal developments on leaves of absence and reasonable accommodations.

COUNSELING AND COMPLIANCE

We regularly provide the following counseling and compliance services to our clients:

  • Draft and review comprehensive leaves of absence, interactive process, and disability accommodation policies and best practices checklists.
  • Draft and review family medical leave, interactive process, and reasonable accommodation template forms and letters.
  • Advise about individual employee leaves of absence and reasonable accommodation issues, including when a reasonable accommodation becomes an undue hardship.
  • Assist employers with return to work issues.
  • Help employers navigate through their state workers’ compensation systems, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and various local, state, and federal family medical leave laws.

STATE-SPECIFIC SERVICES

We offer state-specific services for those employers that operate in states with their own leave and disability accommodation laws. For example, we help employers navigate and comply with California’s unique set of leave laws, including the California Family Rights Act; Pregnancy Disability Leave; Fair Employment and Housing Act; Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, and other leave laws. We also do the same in other states with distinct leave laws, such as the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.

LITIGATION

Leaves of absence, reasonable accommodations, the interactive process, disability discrimination, and related retaliation are a fast-growing area of litigation. We represent employers before local, state, and federal agencies and courts. We provide early exposure analysis so that employers know the risks they face.

TRAINING

Our training and education programs are fast-paced, interactive, and substantive. We will work with you to present leaves of absence and disability accommodation training to your managers and Human Resources Department, emphasizing the issues that you want highlighted. Our programs include state and federal “Leaves of Absence Basics and Advanced,” “The Dizzying Array of Paid Sick Leave Laws: How to Draft Compliant Policies,” “The Interactive Process,” “Workplace Reasonable Accommodation,” and “FMLA, ADA, and Workers’ Compensation.”

UP-TO-DATE NOTICE OF NEW DEVELOPMENTS

The leaves of absence and accommodation areas are constantly changing as federal, state and local jurisdictions pass new laws and implement new regulations expanding employee rights, such as recent paid sick leave initiatives. Judges also interpret family medical leave and disability accommodation laws in novel ways in their opinions.

We will keep you informed of these new laws, regulations, and court decisions through our local, state and federal articles, blogs, webinars, and other programs.

We look forward to working with you.

Group Insights