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An employer may make disability-related inquiries and require medical examinations if they are job-related and consistent with business necessity. If your employer's purpose for requiring the exam is to determine whether you are fit to return to work and the requested exam is reasonable, the exam would most likely be permissible.
An employer is typically only required to hold an employee's position due to illness or injury for 12 weeks pursuant to the Family Medical Leave Act. However, if the employee's condition qualifies as a "disability" (meaning that is "impairs a major life function") pursuant to the definition set forth in the Americans With Disabilities Act, an employer must engage in an interactive process with the disabled employee to determine whether reasonable accommodations can be made that will allow the employee to continue in their employment. A "reasonable accommodation" may under some circumstances mean that an employee is required to extend the 12 absence period provided by the FMLA. Ultimately, the question in this circumstance is whether a prolonged absence would cause the employer an unreasonable hardship.
For more information on what constitutes a disability under the ADA, visit this link:http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/902cm.html
For more information on the ADA in general, visit this link:http://www.ada.gov/q&aeng02.htm
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