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Practice Area

05. Leaves & Accommodations

Leaves of Absence

Federal, state, and local laws provide extensive legal protections to employees who may need to take time off from work.  This is a hot topic that, if not administered accurately, can pose significant legal and cultural risk for organizations.  You can bet your employees openly discuss your time-off practices, and any word of a misstep will likely spread throughout your workforce.

Employers must also remember that a leave of absence may be protected as a reasonable accommodation under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).  This is where many employers end up in hot water, as there is no defined structure on what these leaves should look like.

On the flip-side, a thoughtfully designed leave policy can set an employer apart from the rest.  Employers should ensure their leave policies are compliant, fair, and resistant to abuse.  It is also important to keep in mind the optics of employer responses to leave requests, such that they don't appear retaliatory.

PractiCali Law has lived experience advising employers on complex leave scenarios and policies with valuable perspectives from plaintiff-side litigation.  Here are some examples of where we help employers navigate high-stake leave issues:

  • Policy Formation

  • Interactive Process & Correspondence

  • Documentation

  • COVID-19

  • Financial Benefits

  • Sick Leave

  • Vacation/PTO

  • New Parent Leave

  • Pregnancy Leave

  • Family and Medical Leave

  • Bereavement Leave

  • Voting Leave

  • Jury Duty or Subpoena Leave

  • Domestic Violence Victim Leave

  • Crime Victims Leave

  • Leave for School Activities

  • Drug/Alcohol Rehab Leave

  • Kin Care

  • Organ Donor/Bone Marrow Donor Leave

  • Military Leave

Reasonable Accommodations

Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodation to employees living with a disability.  In addition to a leave of absence, an accommodation can come in many forms; they must be tailored to each unique employee in light of the organization's particular business flow.

The obligation to provide reasonable accommodation begins even before an employee is hired and may last even after an employee is separated.  Job applicants who believe they have not been treated fairly may bring a costly claim of discrimination.  During the separation process, an employer may still have a duty to accommodate and interact with the employee.


PractiCali Law helps employers reduce legal and cultural risks by advising on the following aspects of disability accommodations:

  • Interactive Process & Negotiation

  • Reasonableness Analysis

  • Undue Hardships to Employer

  • Job Descriptions & Essential Duties

  • Job Applicant Accommodations

  • Leaves as Accommodation

  • Job Modifications & Transfers

  • Documentation & Medical Certification

  • Policy Formation and Interpretation

Request a Free Intake

Employers in need of leaves & accommodations advising can reach out for a free initial intake consultation.  The goal of our intake process is to get to know you and your needs.  From there, we are able to tailor our advisement to your context and optimize effectiveness.

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