We will be finishing up our Employment Law IQ series in the next few weeks. Today’s question involves the sticky overlap of the ADA and FMLA, two laws that can be difficult even for seasoned HR professionals to navigate.
Scenario. Lucy Lawless works as an associate attorney at Dewey, Sue & Howe, the biggest law firm in Southwest Florida. Lawless, a lifetime smoker, was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. Dewey, Sue & Howe, which calculates FMLA leave on a calendar basis, grants Lawless 12 weeks of leave under the FMLA. Lawless is unable to return to work after 12 weeks, so Dewey, Sue & Howe grants Lawless an additional six months leave. At the end of six months, Dewey, Sue & Howe granted Lawless an additional period of leave, up to the anniversary date of her first request for leave. On the anniversary date, Lawless requests additional leave, but does not provide Dewey, Sue & Howe with any doctor’s note or certification to verify her request. Dewey, Sue & Howe terminates her.
Which of the following statements is correct?
A. Dewey, Sue & Howe violated the ADA by failing to grant Lawless additional leave.
B. Dewey, Sue & Howe violated the FMLA by failing to grant Lawless additional leave.
C. Dewey, Sue & Howe violated both the ADA and FMLA by failing to grant Lawless additional leave.
D. None of the above.