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HR26 Accommodations and Leaves of Absence: Law Firms Confronting the FMLA and ADA

Michael Cohen

When a law firm employee needs time away from work for an illness or injury, or after the birth of a child, the employee is concerned about two things: 1) Will I still have my job? and 2) Will I get paid while I am away? Correctly answering these questions requires a law firm employer to master the interplay of laws governing leaves of absence, including the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); and insurance programs, such as short-term disability and workers' compensation benefits.

Recorded at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference, National Harbor, Maryland


  • Identify best practices for coordinating these obligations.
  • Discuss one of the most challenging FMLA administration issues —intermittent FMLA absences.
  • Explain how manager frustration with unanticipated absences due to chronic conditions can lead to increased legal risks when managers are unaware of their obligations under the FMLA.
  • Examine how employee abuse of intermittent FMLA leave lowers coworkers' moral and negatively impacts operational efficiencies.