The court said that the ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against “qualified individuals on the basis of disability,” but Billups was no longer qualified because he couldn’t perform the essential functions of his job.The Eleventh Circuit (which covers AL, GA, and FL) ruled alongside the Seventh Circuit, stating long-term leave beyond FMLA leave isn’t a reasonable ADA accommodation. With these three rulings paving the way, the EEOC’s case against the Blood Bank of Hawaii might seem repetitive.After the recovery time he said he’d be able to work without any limitations, but he was fired.
While two of the employees were requesting additional leave as an accommodation, one said she could return to work with an accommodation.Currently, the EEOC is suing the Blood Bank of Hawaii for firing three employees who were unable to return to work as soon as their FMLA leave ended instead of granting them more leave under the ADA. In both cases, employees had medical conditions, and after exhausting their FMLA leave, requested more leave as an accommodation under the ADA. Raymond Severson had a back condition that required surgery.The employers denied these requests, stating they were unreasonable, and the court agreed. After his FMLA leave was exhausted, Severson requested additional time off.Exactly how much leave she needed was unclear, but there was the potential that Golden would not return to work for six months. Golden sued, claiming the company violated the ADA.The court once again ruled that several months of additional leave was unreasonable — especially since Golden had no clear return date.
“Medical leave spanning multiple months does not permit the employee to perform the essential functions of his job,” the court said.