Question: An employee went on Family and Medical Leave Act Leave (FMLA) and the end of the 12-week leave period is approaching. We don’t think he will be able to return. Can we terminate his employment?
Answer: Assuming the employee is out due to his own medical condition, once FMLA is exhausted, granting additional leave time will be based on company policy and/or past practice as well as consideration that the employee may be covered by the American Disabilities Act (ADA). As part of the interactive process, an employer will need to determine if they can reasonably accommodate an employee or if it will cause an undue hardship. Before terminating an employee that may be covered by the ADA, always consult with an employment attorney to avoid claims of discrimination.
For more information, visit http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/accommodation.html. For additional information about the interactive process from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), click on http://thinkhr.com/docs/The_Interactive_Process_(JAN).pdf.