Accommodation Beyond FMLA

Accommodation Beyond FMLA

The Blood Bank of Hawaii used to have a policy that employees on leave through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) had to return to work without limitation at the end of the twelve weeks allowed under FMLA.

Recently, however, the organization agreed to pay $175,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) because of this policy. The EEOC lawsuit alleged that the organization fired employees who had exhausted their FMLA leave but still needed more time or were unable to return to work without restrictions. Both of these circumstances are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

As a result of the settlement, the Blood Bank of Hawaii is under a two-year consent decree that requires it to revise and distribute its ADA policy, designate an in-house ADA coordinator, provide a log for accommodation requests under the ADA, and retain an EEO consultant.