Inflexible Medical Leave Policies May Violate the Americans with Disabilities Act

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On August 27, 2009, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a putative class action against United Parcel Service, Inc. claiming the company’s 12-month leave of absence policy violates the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”).

Since 2002, UPS has had a policy that allows employees to take up to 12 months off for medical leave but, according to the EEOC, the policy does not adequately accommodate employees with disabilities and “instead provides for termination of their employment.” The EEOC further claims UPS’ practices deprive a class of disabled employees of equal employment opportunities and otherwise adversely affect their status as employees because of their disabilities.

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