California Court Confirms Employers Not Required to Provide Employees Indefinite Leaves of Absence

HR Daily Advisor

Matthew A. Goodin, a Senior Attorney in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s San Francisco office, authored an article in HR Daily Advisor, titled “California Court Confirms Employers Not Required to Provide Employees Indefinite Leaves of Absence.”

Following is an excerpt:

“Kim” worked as a sales associate in the women’s clothing department at Macy’s. Her job duties included assisting customers with purchases, conducting sales transactions at the cash register, processing returns, and conducting inventory. Her duties required her to walk and remain on her feet for extended periods. …

This case reiterates the principle that employers are not required to provide employees an indefinite leave of absence. Be cautious, however, in applying rigid rules regarding how long you allow employees to be on leave. Many employers have rules providing that employees will be terminated if they cannot return to work within a specific time frame (one year is common).

After a year of leave, if an employee provides sufficient information to show that she can return to work within a short time, it may be very difficult for the employer to establish that granting a short extension would be an undue hardship.