The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against applicants and employees who are "qualified individuals with a disability." The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1973 (FMLA) sets minimum leave standards for employees for the birth and newborn care of a child, placement of a child for adoption or foster care, to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition, and for the employee’s serious health condition.
And Workers' Compensation provides for payment of compensation and rehabilitation for workplace injuries and assists in minimizing employer liability. While these individual policies are relatively straightforward in their application in the workplace, understanding how these three laws intersect can be quite confusing and are open to problems if not handled correctly.
ADA, FMLA, and Workers' Compensation have different goals and protections for employees, yet all three have provisions that may require an employer to give job-protected time off when the right circumstances are met.
The majority of unscheduled and scheduled absences are related to the illness of employees and/or their family members. Under those circumstances, one, both, or all three of these laws may be involved. Violations of these laws may result in lost wages, back pay, reinstatement, retroactive benefits, compensatory damages, and punitive damages.
In addition to employers' legal responsibilities, employers also have moral and ethical responsibilities to ensure employees receive the benefits and protections these laws provide.
The interplay of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and Workers' Compensation laws have been referred to as the "Bermuda Triangle of employment law." It's imperative for employers to recognize and understand the interplay of the ADA, FMLA, and Workers' Compensation laws. Employers have legal responsibilities to comply with these laws or face significant violations for noncompliance. Employers have ethical and moral responsibilities to ensure employees receive the benefits and protections these laws provide.
Each of these three laws has a different purpose. The ADA prohibits discrimination. The FMLA sets minimum leave standards. Workers' compensation laws provide for payment of compensation and rehabilitation for workplace injuries and minimize employer liability.
Participation in this seminar will provide participants with a clear understanding of each of these laws and how they interact with each other, incorporating that information into company policies, and the ability to communicate those policies to employees.