Thank you again for this additional information.
Generally speaking, an employee is entitled to only 12 weeks of protected leave pursuant to the FMLA, after which he or she may be terminated pursuant to the "at will" doctrine of employment. However, one important exception to this rule is if the employee has taken FMLA leave to rehabilitate from a health condition that qualifies as a "disability" pursuant to the Americans With Disabilities Act.
If an employee takes FMLA protected leave for an ADA disability, his or her employer may be required to provide an extension
of the protected 12 week period as a "reasonable accommodation" of the employee's disability. The length of the extension depends on what is reasonable under the circumstances, but in any event, the employer must engage in an interactive process
with the employee to determine what accommodations can be arranged.
The determination of what constitutes a qualifying disability is a complex issue, but in general, in order to have a “disability” you must have a mental or physical condition that “significantly impairs a major life activity.”
According to the most recent Supreme Court decision, this analysis requires the courts to review whether the person is able to perform the tasks of daily living (washing, brushing teeth, fixing meals, housecleaning, etc.), and decide if the person is significantly more impaired in those tasks than other persons in the population who are not “disabled.” For more information on what constitutes a qualifying disability, visit this link: http://www.ada.gov/qandaeng.htm
Under many circumstances, diabetes and related health conditions can qualify as "disabilities" under the ADA.
So to summarize, while an employee is ordinarily only entitled to 12 weeks of protected leave after which they may be terminated pursuant to California's doctrine of "at will" employment, if an employee has a disability pursuant to the ADA, they may be entitled to a reasonable extension of the 12 week period.
At the very least, an employer must engage in an "interactive process" with the disabled employee to determine whether some sort of accommodation, including potentially an extension of the FMLA leave period, may be offered prior to terminating the employee.
If an employee in your father's circumstance had a "disability" as defined by the ADA and his employer did not offer an extension of his FMLA leave as a reasonable accommodation, hemay have a legal cause of action for wrongful termination and violation of the ADA which he can pursue either through the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (a federal agency) or California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
For information on how to bring a claim through California's DFEH, visit this link: http://www.dfeh.ca.gov/Complaints.htm
For information on how to bring a claim through the EEOC, visit this link: http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/charge.cfm
I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the best.
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is that you are satisfied with the answer I provide, so please do not hesitate to contact me with follow-up questions. Also, please bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.