California and Federal Law provides for 12 weeks (at a minimum, depending upon other factors) of unpaid leave for any medical condition of either the employee and/or his immediate family (spouse and children). But, what happens when the employee is out for a serious medical condition and thinks he or she may be able to come back but, needs more than 12 weeks?
Employee Wants to Come Back, But is Told that They Will Be Terminated after 12 weeks
At this point, the employer should inquire as to whether the employee has a serious medical condition. California Law requires all employers to "engage in the interactive process" to determine if the condition is a qualified disability and whether or not the disability can be "reasonably accommodated". This may mean offering a different position, different scheduling or other means of accommodation. Ultimately, such accommodation may not be "reasonably" possible, however, it is a violation in and of itself to not "engage in the interactive process."
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