Integrated Absence Management: The ADA and the FMLA

DMEC Staff@Work

The ADA and the FMLA: Separate, Yet Together

By Kristin Hostetter, CPDM

Sr. Prod. Mgr., Absence Mgmt.
Lincoln Financial Group

By Mary Neely

Sr. Prod. Mgr., Accom. Services
Lincoln Financial Group

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) present some of the biggest absence management compliance challenges for employers. It’s important to understand both the differences and the common turf between these separate laws that frequently intertwine.


The FMLA has specific eligibility criteria1 that an employee must work for the employer for 1,250 hours in the 12 months prior to the leave in a location with at least 50 employees in a 75-mile radius.

The ADA applies to all employers with 15 or more employees. Because the ADA Amendments Act expanded the definition of disability, some employers rarely question whether a disability qualifies for ADA protection, instead focusing on identifying reasonable accommodations.

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