Absence Matters: Intermittent Absences

Jai Hooker@Work

Don’t Leave Intermittent Absences Out of Your ADA Process

By Adam Morell, JD, Assistant Vice President, Product Compliance, Sedgwick

Intermittent leave has caused headaches for absence management professionals since the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was enacted in 1993. However, many don’t realize that intermittent leave isn’t just an FMLA consideration and that it can be a helpful tool.

Consider this scenario: Sam is a customer service representative with ACME Widgets (a fictional company), who just completed an FMLA leave of 12 weeks for an anxiety disorder. After exhausting the leave, Sam requested additional leave and provides medical documentation that anxiety episodes will likely occur twice per week and last a couple of hours per occurrence. The doctor suggests intermittent leave of one to two workdays per week as an accommodation.

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