Court Issues Guidelines on FMLA Claims

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued several guidelines based on a recent case which required clarification of an employer’s requirements under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The guidelines state that “an employee returning from leave who cannot perform the essential functions of [his or her] job due to a physical condition need not be reinstated or restored to another position”. The Court also states that “an employer may lawfully require a fitness for duty certification upon the employee returning to work”. It should be noted that “the medical condition may also qualify as a disability” under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which could affect the assessment of the requested leave. Employers should review the guidelines to ensure they are familiar with how to best handle FMLA claims.

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