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California-How long does an employer have to remedy a medical issue before quiting?

My brother was on medical leave due to an anxiety disorder that is aggravated by his job. His FMLA is done and the doctor has released him almost 3 weeks ago. The doctor gave him a notice that he was not to return to the same position due to his mental health. He asked HR if there were any other positions available. She said she would check with the GM and get back to him. After about a week, he contacted her and she said they needed more specific information as far as his work limitations. He had a hard time getting the doctor to give him something in writing, about another week went by, and just yesterday got the doctor to request that his work hours be adjusted to a regular 8-5 day and limited driving. He has left HR messages all day today with no return call. In the meantime, almost 3 weeks have gone by and no work still and no more DI benefits. How much loger should his employer have to decide if they have a position for him or not? I want to make sure he covers this base before he quit so he can get UI benefits. Please help. Thanks!


Quite frankly I think that's what the employer is trying to do .. cover their bases.

I don't know if or what the "time limits" are as far as FMLA for some kind of response from the employer, but there is a lot of information and fact sheets at the USDOL (wage and hour division.

If you want my honest opinion .. I think you should contact a lawyer.

I think there may be issues involving not only FMLA, but the ADA.

Why don't you read some of those fact sheets on the page I linked to .. in the short time I was there I did notice something that made me think employers are required to be "responsive".

I'd like to help more, but due to the seriousness of your brother's illness and the fact that you are asking a question .. over my head, I think his interests would best be served by asking someone who has a good working knowledge of California and Federal labor laws, namely a California Employment Attorney.

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Oct 26, 2009
by: Sister

I wanted to give you an update on this. My brother got laid-off because they had no work for him to do within his limitations. I want to thank you for all the information you provide on this web site. Had I not checked here, he would have quit his job as soon as the doctor gave him the notice and then he would not have qualified for unemployement. Now he is able to do that!


Thank you for letting me know .. I wonder if you know how much updates like this mean to me:))

Good Luck to you and your brother!

Oct 22, 2009
Information Found on ADA
by: Sister

Thank you for your input. They have responded to him asking for a couple more days for a response...probably covering their bases before deciding as you too noted. I did go to the ADA website and found this regarding their responsabilities:

Q. When must I consider reassigning an employee with a disability to another job as a reasonable accommodation?
A. When an employee with a disability is unable to perform her present job even with the provision of a reasonable accommodation, you must consider reassigning the employee to an existing position that she can perform with or without a reasonable accommodation. The requirement to consider reassignment applies only to employees and not to applicants. You are not required to create a position or to bump another employee in order to create a vacancy. Nor are you required to promote an employee with a disability to a higher level position.
Q. What if an applicant or employee refuses to accept an accommodation that I offer?
A. The ADA provides that an employer cannot require a qualified individual with a disability to accept an accommodation that is neither requested nor needed by the individual. However, if a necessary reasonable accommodation is refused, the individual may be considered not qualified.

I am hoping they are taking the time to consider this. Either way my brother should qualify for UI if they come back with no available employment.

Thank you for your help and this web page...very helpful.

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