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Does my employer have the right to NOT give me FMLA?

Rudolph, OH |

I was recently diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder, upon learning this I promptly applied for FMLA with the company I work for, I was told that (via the company medical director) they didn't believe I should even be working, I was then told they wanted a second opinion, which I got, from the doctor of their choice, today I received the doctors decision, I don't need FMLA, my meds are all I should need, they have stated that if I want a 3rd opinion, I am entitled to that. My question is what if the 3rd opinion is the same as the 2nd... What do I do then? I have to use vacation days or short term disability if I start having and episode. I thought under the Peoples with Disabilities Act, they have to accomodate me, I don't want alot of time just once in a "blue moon". Can I do anything?

Attorney Answers 1

Posted

Both the ADA and the FMLA protect employees who have mental impairments. Under the FMLA, eligible employees can take intermittent FMLA leave when "medically necessary" due to a "serious condition." Under the ADA, a disability includes a mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of an individual’s major life activities. A reasonable accommodation for bipolar disorder may include a leave of absence or a modified work schedule. I suggest that you inform your employer, in writing, that you have been diagnosed with a condition that qualifies as a disability under the ADA and that you are requesting a reasonable accommodation, such as intermittent leave.

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