Welcome to Part 3 of our blog series all about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)! Hopefully you’ve had time to check out the new whitepaper, Everything You Need to Know About the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), by our parent company, Presagia. If not, you can download it here!
In the third post of this series, we’ll look at not only the ADA but how the ADA differs and interacts with the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Navigating Between the FMLA and the ADA
Trying to navigate not only one, but two pieces of complicated legislation can be tough.
First, let’s take a look at how the FMLA and ADA differ from one another in terms of what they provide and their eligibility requirements:
- Provides leave, continuation of health benefits and is job-protected.
- Covers organizations who have 50 or more employees (within 75 miles), along with all state and local government employees.
- For employees to be eligible, they must have worked for 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of their leave. They must have also worked for the employer for 12 cumulative months.
- Employees are entitled to 12 work weeks within a 12 month period.
- Provides leave, accommodation and is job-protected.
- Covers organizations with 15 or more employees and all state and local government employees.
- No minimum service requirements for employees to be covered.
- No fixed leave entitlement - employers must provide a “reasonable” period of time, so long as it results in an employee's ability to return to work and perform the essential functions of their job.
One of the biggest misconceptions about these laws, and one that puts employers at legal risk, is not knowing that an employee who is denied FMLA leave can still be eligible for leave under the ADA. Another misconception is that employers tend to think of the ADA and FMLA as having an “interaction” with one another. In reality, the laws do not technically interact, but rather transition, from leave under the FMLA to accommodation under the ADA.
Our parent company Presagia's new whitepaper goes into greater detail on the ways in which FMLA can transition into ADA. Check it out here.
Eligibility requirements differ under the FMLA and ADA, therefore as an employer it’s important to determine how an employee is eligible. For example, an employee may not be eligible for FMLA because they don’t meet the requirement for length of service, however, they may still be eligible for leave as an accommodation because they have a qualifying disability under the ADA.
As you can see, there are instances when an employee may qualify for one, ADA and not FMLA or vice versa. The way these two pieces of legislation work together isn’t so black and white after all. Stay tuned for our next blog in this series, where we’ll investigate how technology can help with the interactive process! If you want to read ahead, we encourage you to read our parent company, Presagia's whitepaper!
Check out our other posts in the series (links to be added as published) and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog to receive updates the moment they go live!