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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I submitted a request for an intermittent FMLA/CFRA leave extension

Resolved Question:

I submitted a request for an intermittent FMLA/CFRA leave extension for my own serious health condition and submitted an updated certification of health care provider to my employer on 11/7/11. My employer acknowledged receipt of the FMLA extension request, but not approve or deny my request. My current leave expired on 11/13/11. It is now four weeks later and my employer has still not approved or denied my request for FMLA extension. After several inquiries, the HR representive sent me an email stating "it is still under review, but you can continue to work your schedule." Is my employer legally required to respond to my FMLA leave extension request within 5 business days? How should I resolve this issue?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. Certain additional protections may apply depending on the nature of your disability. What specifically is your disability/injury?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Did you receive my response to your question?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Other.
LegalPro 54 has not yet responded.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

-UNSPECIFIED SLEEP DISTURBANCE (780.50)

-MIGRAINE UNSP W/O INTRACT W/O STATUS MIGRAINOSUS (346.90)

-RESTLESS LEGS SYNDROME (333.94)

 

I currently work 35 hours per week. My employer approved my intermittent FMLA/CFRA on 7/6/10 and then approved several extensions.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Other. I'm not getting a response...
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX not responding to you sooner. This website requires us to respond to questions in a particular order, and there were two other questions that I had to answer before I could get to yours. I give each question my fullest attention so that I can provide the absolute highest quality response. Again, my apologies.

To answer your question, the FMLA and CFRA give employees the right to take 12 weeks of protected leave per year for qualifying illnesses. Employers are not required by law to offer extensions, although they sometime do as a matter of courtesy to their employees.

The only instance in which an employer may be required to grant an extension of FMLA leave would be if the employee's injury/ailment qualifies as a disability under the American with Disabilities Act. Under the ADA, an employee may be required to grant an extension of FMLA leave as a "reasonable accommodation" of an employee's disability.

However, a qualifying disability only exists if an employee has: (1) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; and (2) has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.

Courts have found that severe migraines can qualify as a disability under the ADA. Accordingly, if you can demonstrate that you headaches and other conditions substantially limit a major life function, then your employer may be obligated to grant an extension of your FMLA leave as a "reasonable accommodation" of your disability.

The law typically does not impose a specific timeline for responding to a request for accommodations However, your employer must engage in a reasonable "interactive process" which means they must be reasonably prompt in their response to you.

It would be wise for an individual in these circumstances to write their employer and state that they are demanding an extension of FMLA leave as a reasonable accommodation of their disabilities pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the very best of luck. Bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.

Please abide by the honor code of this website by kindly clicking on the GREEN ACCEPT button if my answer has been helpful to you. Thank you very much.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 6692
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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