What Happens After FMLA Runs Out? Get Answers Now!

Requesting a Leave Extension as an Accommodation Under the ADA

If an employee is unable to return to work by the expiration of their FMLA leave and they have a medical impairment, they may request a leave extension as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To request an extension, the employee must provide the employer with medical documentation of the impairment and the need for an extension.

The employer is required to engage in an interactive process with the employee to determine if an extension would be a reasonable accommodation.

Are you wondering what happens after FMLA runs out? Check out this Youtube video titled “Can a Leave of Absence be an Accommodation under the ADA?” to gain insightful information on managing leave of absence as an accommodation.

Your Rights Under the FMLA/CFRA

After the FMLA/CFRA runs out, your employer is not obligated to keep your job position open. However, they are required to reinstate you to your previous position or an equivalent one.

You also maintain your health insurance benefits during the duration of your leave.

If you are unable to return to work by the expiration of leave due to your own medical impairment, you may request a leave extension as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This requires medical documentation and a discussion with your employer on reasonable accommodations.

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To qualify for either FMLA or CFRA, an employed person needs a qualifying reason and have worked for the covered employer for 12 months. Additionally, they need to have worked 1,250 hours in the 12-month period preceding their first day of leave.

During the leave, you are protected from retaliation or discrimination by your employer.

What If My Position is No Longer Available at the End of My FMLA Leave?

As an employee who has taken Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave, it can be understandable to worry about the possibility of your position no longer being available when you return to work. While employers must reinstate employees to their same or equivalent position after taking FMLA leave, there are still options available to you if your position is no longer available.

Exploring Reasonable Accommodations

If, due to your own medical impairment, you are unable to return to work by the expiration of your leave, you may request a leave extension as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the ADA, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities, including unpaid leave.

You can request your employer for an extended leave as an accommodation to meet your medical needs.

Filing a Complaint

If your employer violates FMLA/CFRA laws or the ADA, you can file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor or file a lawsuit against your employer. To qualify for either FMLA or California Family Rights Act (CFRA), an employed person needs a qualifying reason and have worked for the covered employer for 12 months.

Additionally, they need to have worked 1,250 hours in the 12-month period preceding their first day of leave. The U.S. DOL oversees the FMLA and the Wage and Hour Division will conduct an investigation into your complaint and confirm whether your employer denied your FMLA or ADA rights wrongfully.

Can My Employer Fire Me at the End of My FMLA Leave?

Employers cannot fire employees for taking FMLA leave. However, they can terminate an employee’s employment if they have a valid reason that is not related to the FMLA leave.

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What to Do If Your FMLA Runs Out and You Can’t Return to Work?

If you are unable to return to work by the expiration of leave due to your own medical impairment, you may request a leave extension as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Qualifications for FMLA

To qualify for either FMLA or CFRA, an employed person needs a qualifying reason and have worked for the covered employer for 12 months. Additionally, they need to have worked 1,250 hours in the 12-month period preceding their first day of leave.

What If My Employer Denies My FMLA?

If your employer denies your FMLA, you can make a complaint to the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor. The U.S. DOL oversees the FMLA.

They will conduct an investigation into your complaint and confirm whether your employee denied your FMLA rights wrongfully.

Does FMLA Guarantee Job Reinstatement?

FMLA doesn’t provide employees with any greater rights to reinstatement or other benefits and conditions of employment, including continued employment. An employer may terminate an employee regardless of FMLA leave status provided that there is a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for termination.

Can I Lose My Job Once My FMLA Leave Runs Out?

After the exhaustion of FMLA leave, your employer is not obligated to continue your job or a substantially similar position under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Your employer can legally terminate your employment without violating FMLA laws unless the termination is discriminatory or retaliatory.

Leave Extension as an Accommodation under ADA

If you are still unable to return to work due to your own medical impairment after the expiration of your FMLA leave, you may ask for an extension of your leave as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This extension could be a reasonable accommodation depending on your employer’s policies and the nature of your disability.

However, the ADA does not require an employer to provide indefinite extensions or hold open a job forever.

What to Do if Your Employer Denies Your FMLA?

If your employer denies your FMLA, you have the right to file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor. The DOL will investigate your complaint and determine whether your employer violated your FMLA rights.

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If your employer’s denial of your FMLA was unlawful, they could be facing penalties and may be required to compensate you for any lost wages or benefits.

Stacking Unpaid Leaves

Once your FMLA/CFRA leave ends, and you are still unable to return to work due to medical reasons, you may request a leave extension as a possible accommodation under the ADA. Some employers offer additional unpaid leave beyond the twelve weeks provided by FMLA, which may be available as part of the employer’s leave policies or reasonable accommodation under the ADA.

Employers may also allow employees to stack unpaid leave, which is time off that is unpaid once an employee has utilized all their paid time off and vacation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can You Be Demoted After Returning From FMLA Leave?

An employer cannot demote an employee for taking FMLA leave. However, they can be demoted for other reasons that are not related to the FMLA leave.

Q: Can I Take FMLA Leave Twice in One Year?

Employees are entitled to twelve weeks of unpaid FMLA leave per twelve-month period and cannot take more than twelve weeks of leave in a year for any reason.

Q: What Is the Longest FMLA Leave That I Can Take?

The longest FMLA leave that you can take is twelve weeks per twelve-month period. However, if you have a serious health condition that lasts beyond the twelve-week period, you may be entitled to additional leave as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.

Q: What If My Employer Does Not Give Me Back My Old Job?

If your employer does not give you back your old job or an equivalent one at the end of your FMLA leave, you may be entitled to file a complaint with the Department of Labor or file a lawsuit against your employer.

What Happens After FMLA Runs Out?

Once an employee’s FMLA leave runs out, they are expected to return to work. If they are unable to do so due to a medical condition, they may request a leave extension as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

However, this extension is not guaranteed and depends on the employee’s medical condition and the employer’s ability to accommodate.

In order to qualify for FMLA, an employee must have a qualifying reason and have worked for the covered employer for at least 12 months. Additionally, they must have worked 1,250 hours in the 12-month period preceding their first day of leave.

If the employer denies the employee’s FMLA request, the employee can file a complaint to the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor.

It’s important to note that FMLA does not provide employees with any greater rights to reinstatement or other benefits and conditions of employment, including continued employment. An employer may terminate an employee regardless of their FMLA leave status provided that there is a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for termination.

References

Lora Turner
 

Lora Turner is an Experienced HR professional worked with the large organizations and holding 15 years of experience dealing with employee benefits. She holds expertise in simplifying the leave for the employee benefits. Contact us at: [email protected]