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Court Holds That An Employer's Change of Employee's FMLA Leave Expiration Date May Have Violated The ADA's Interactive Process

Oct 03, 2014

 A former technician at a hospital in Nevada whose return-to-work date was changed by her employer while she was out on approved medical leave can pursue claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to the court.

The federal District Court for the District of Nevada found that the hospital's unilateral modification of the employee's leave period may have amounted to a breakdown in the interactive process required when a disabled employee seeks a job accommodation under the ADA. The hospital thus may be liable for failing to accommodate, firing and retaliating against the employee, who has major depression disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The court noted that the ADA's interactive process is a “continuing duty,” and whether the employer “acted and communicated in good faith in the leave-modification process is a question of fact that cannot be resolved on summary judgment.” 

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