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The employer has a policy requiring a doctor's note for any sick leave over three days that explains why leave is needed.The employee must provide the requested documentation. Leave as a reasonable accommodation is consistent with this purpose when it enables an employee to return to work following the period of leave.
However, the employer must provide two additional days of unpaid sick leave as a reasonable accommodation unless it can show that providing the two additional days would cause undue hardship.It is consistent with the EEOC's regulations enforcing Title I of the ADA, as well as the EEOC's 2002 Revised Enforcement Guidance: Reasonable Accommodation and Undue Hardship Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (a link to the Guidance appears at the end of this document).Employees with disabilities must be provided with access to leave on the same basis as all other similarly-situated employees.After three years, employees are eligible for 15 days of paid annual leave and eight days of paid sick leave.An employee who has worked for only two years has used his 10 days of paid annual leave and now requests six days of paid sick leave for treatment for his disability.A reasonable accommodation is, generally, "any change in the work environment or in the way things are customarily done that enables an individual with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities." That can include making modifications to existing leave policies and providing leave when needed for a disability, even where an employer does not offer leave to other employees. As with any other accommodation, the goal of providing leave as an accommodation is to afford employees with disabilities equal employment opportunities.
The EEOC continues to receive charges indicating that some employers may be unaware of Commission positions about leave and the ADA.
As noted above, requests for leave related to disability can often fall under existing employer policies.
In those cases, the employer's obligation is to provide persons with disabilities access to those policies on equal terms as similarly situated individuals.
For example, some employers may not know that they may have to modify policies that limit the amount of leave employees can take when an employee needs additional leave as a reasonable accommodation.
Employer policies that require employees on extended leave to be 100 percent healed or able to work without restrictions may deny some employees reasonable accommodations that would enable them to return to work.
(See below for a discussion of undue hardship.) That is the case even when: leave beyond what it provides as part of its paid leave policy.