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194 Absences Are Enough – Any More and You Can Be Fired - Labor and Employment Law News

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Labor and Employment Law News

Posted on: Jan 15, 2019

From Barnes & Thornburg LLP:

One of the most headache-inducing issues for any employer is how to deal with an employee with a medical condition who continues to miss work even after they have been granted the full 12 weeks of leave under the FMLA. While many courts have held that providing additional leave can be a reasonable accommodation, a federal circuit court overseeing several Midwestern states has held that post-FMLA requests for intermittent leave do not have to be accommodated—at least when the request follows a lengthy period of continuous leave.

In Lipp v. Cargill Meat Solutions, the Eight Circuit (which has responsibility for federal lawsuits in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Arkansas and Missouri) confirmed a summary judgment issued by an Iowa federal court against an employee who sued after being fired for her 195th attendance occurrence in a single year. Most of these occurrences were covered by an approved nine-month leave, but when the employee returned from that leave, she asked for additional time off anytime her medical condition “flared up.” The court found that such a request was unreasonable, coming as it did almost immediately following her lengthy leave of approved absences.

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