So Is ADA Leave Required or Not?

HR professionals debate the merits of a recent appeals court decision

October 23, 2017
So Is ADA Leave Required or Not?

For years, many courts have ruled that unpaid leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a reasonable accommodation. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also stated last year in guidance that an employer must consider providing unpaid leave when it does not create an undue hardship.

Turns out, it may not be as straightforward as that. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently decided that extended leave beyond what the Family and Medical Leave Act requires is not a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. There is a split in authority among the courts that the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately may have to resolve.

Some HR professionals commenting on the decision on SHRM's Facebook page are determined to look at ADA leave requests on a case-by-case basis, knowing that indefinite leave is never required: 

Some Facebook commenters found the 7th Circuit's reasoning to be persuasive:

Others anticipated that the issue of whether ADA leave is a required reasonable accommodation might reach the Supreme Court:

What do you think? Join the 29 commenters, 108 sharers and 279 followers who have "liked" the article, "ADA Does Not Require Extended Leave Beyond FMLA, 7th Circuit Finds," on SHRM's Facebook page


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