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ADA and paid/unpaid leave
Jan 23, 2013

I work for a large private university with generous benefits. Due to fatigue and the need for multiple medical visits monthly I requested an ADA accommodation to change my shift hours and requested that I be allowed to make-up the 2-3 hours the medical visits each take at other non-regular shift hours or on the weekends (which I occasionally work as part of my regular shifts.) Our EEO office approved the shift change on a temporary 6-month basis but refused the accommodation to allow me to make-up the time at other times stating that I would have to use sick time for the medical visits and that once I had exhausted my sick time then I would be allowed unpaid leave time for my medical visits. Does this ring true or can I fight this? Thank you!

Response from Mr. Chambers

You can always appeal it, however, you should do it cautiously. It is the employer that decides what is "reasonable accommodation" and what isn't. If you appeal, you may want to ask how making up the time rather than using it as unpaid leave (after the sick leave is exhausted) is considered unreasonable.

They are at least willing to let you use sick leave and, afterward, consider it leave time, even though unpaid, so at least they are offering something.

If your company is large enough to have an EEO office, you may want to visit them in person, if possible, and informally ask why they are disallowing the make-up time. I suspect they are concerned about setting a precedent for other employees wanting time off, but see what they say.

Good luck, Jacques



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