According to a Press Release (6/8/11), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the “EEOC”) held a hearing, which produced a range of views from a diverse panel of experts concerning the use of leave to provide reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”). The Press Release stated that, although the speakers differed as to some employer and employee obligations, they agreed on the need for clear and uniform guidance from the EEOC on the use of such leave.
The ADA requires reasonable accommodations when necessary so that people with disabilities can perform the essential functions of their jobs, unless doing so would constitute an undue hardship to the employer. A leave of absence–including those beyond an employer’s permitted number of days off–can constitute a reasonable accommodation. The EEOC website offers a video of the hearing.