Miles & Stockbridge regularly advises employers regarding their responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and related federal and state laws governing workplace accommodation of family and individual health care issues. The interplay of the ADA, FMLA, and state workers compensation laws may create complicated issues for employers, including determination of an employee’s capacity to work after becoming disabled.
We work with our clients to develop practical policies and procedures that fit their operations, attain compliance with the law, establish an efficient and equitable work environment, and manage individual employee issues. And when necessary, we mount a vigorous defense in court and administrative hearings when violations of the law are alleged.
Our ADA compliance advice often may hinge on proper interpretation of a “disability” (including how it applies to correctable physical conditions), what are “essential job functions,” and what is a “reasonable accommodation” for a disability condition. Assisting our clients with the interactive process is critical to achieving success in the ongoing management of employee issues. We advise regularly on the procedural details necessary to meet these legal requirements, and also on resolving conflicts between ADA compliance and issues involving workplace violence (for example, when a psychological disability constitutes a “direct threat” to others), affirmative action, and equal employment opportunity.
FMLA compliance and compliance with state leave laws for covered employers involve similarly complex issues. We advise employers on their coverage obligations, on notice requirements that both they and their employees must provide, on the applicable medical conditions and family members covered, and on medical certification requirements necessary to apply for leave. Because of our comprehensive employee benefits practice, we also are able to advise employers on other FMLA-related issues, such as the privacy of individually identifiable health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Privacy Act (HIPAA), and coverage and reimbursement decisions under employer provided health benefit plans.
Lawyers in our practice regularly speak on the practical solutions to employee leave issues.