Comparing the ADA & FMLA

Hello, and welcome to LegalEase. Today’s topic is about the FMLA v. ADA.

Many employers call inquiring about whether they should pay an employee under the FMLA or ADA. Today, I  want to compare the two statutes; the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and the FMLA (Family Medical Leave act).

They are both federal statutes. First, make sure that your employment attorney can review your state law to make sure you do not have any state nuances. Let’s compare:

  • The FMLA only applies to employers who have fifty or more employees. In contrast, the ADA applies to employers who have fifteen or more employees.
  • The FMLA was enacted to provide job-protected leave. The ADA was enacted to prohibit discrimination against disabled employees.
  • The FMLA only applies to employees who have been working for twelve months and 1250 hours during the prior consecutive twelve months. The ADA does not have a minimum employment time, and simply requires a decision about whether the employee meets the disability definition.
  • The FMLA allows employees to take leave to care for themselves or a family member if there is a serious medical condition. The FMLA also applies to other situations such as birth of a child or military leave. However, the primary focus is usually about a serious medical condition and the need to care for self or a family member. The ADA allows disabled employees to receive an accommodation from the employer so long as there is no undue hardship to the employer.
  • The FMLA provides twelve weeks of unpaid leave. The ADA does not state whether any leave must be paid or unpaid. The ADA requires the employer to provide a reasonable accommodation when needed.

I hope this was helpful to you. If you have any questions, please call us. We will be happy to assist you. Thank you for joining LegalEase.