Q & A – Where do the FMLA and the ADA overlap?

Q. Where do the FMLA and the ADA overlap?

A. The FMLA and ADA may overlap where a worker’s serious health condition is also a disability. A disability is a physical or mental condition that substantially limits an individual’s ability to perform one or more major life activites. Disabilities are generally long-term or permanent. If the employee’s condition is temporary or non-chronic, the employee may not be disabled.

If the employee who may be disabled is taking FMLA leave in full workweeks, the ADA analysis is generally conducted if the employee is unable to return or is restricted in performing essential job functions at the exhaustion of FMLA leave. If the employee is on intermittent FMLA leave and requires additional accommodation while at work, the ADA analysis would occur at the point the need for accommodation becomes apparent. More and different medical information from the FMLA medical certification and return-to-work paperwork will likely be needed to do the ADA analysis.