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Sixth Circuit Decision Offers Practical Guidance on Accommodating Disabled Employees

Determining how to reasonably accommodate an employee with a disability can be difficult for employers.  The Sixth Circuit’s decision in Kempter v. Michigan Bell Telephone Co., et al. affirms common-sense law – namely, that in reasonably accommodating a disabled employee, employers are not required to convert temporary light-duty work into a full-time position, reassign a disabled employee to a position he/she is not qualified for, or which would displace another employee’s rights, or create a new position. 

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Sixth Circuit Decision Upholds Stringent Employer FMLA Leave Notice Requirements

In a ruling that bolsters employers’ established FMLA leave notice requirements, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision granting summary judgment in favor of the employer and upheld a former employee’s discharge for failure to follow the call-in requirements of his employer’s attendance policy in White v. Dana Light Axle Manufacturing, LLCThe decision is assuring to employers who have established and adhere to FMLA leave policies that require employees follow specific procedures to notify their employers of their intent to take protected FMLA leave.

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Obesity and the Ever-Broadening Definition of "Disability"

As most employers are aware, the definition of what constitutes a “disability” for purposes of providing a reasonable workplace accommodation was broadened significantly with the enactment of the Americans with Disability Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). 

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New Ohio Military Leave and FMLA Military Leave

We have posted an alert regarding Ohio's new military leave law, which takes effect on July 2, 2010. An initial question that the new law raises is how it compares to and interacts with the FMLA’s provisions for military leave. At present, the answer is not clear but there are a couple of points worth noting.

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Right to Start FMLA Leave Not Absolute

Here is a scenario that I’ve seen many times:  An employee does something bad that will likely lead to termination; while the employer is investigating and deciding what to do next, the employee submits FMLA paperwork requesting leave. 

Maybe I’m a cynic but it’s possible that the employee doesn’t really need FMLA leave. 

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