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Baltimore case could result in health problem qualifying as a disability


In Arlene C. Moore v. Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, a Baltimore federal court suggests that once an employee exhausts protected leave time under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the employer is not simply free to terminate the employee.

The court in 2011 denied the Maryland Department of Safety's motion to dismiss the suit, saying the department may have violated the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 when it terminated Ms. Moore after she exhausted FMLA-protected leave for cancer treatments.

The case points out that an employee with a serious health condition may also qualify as a disability under the ADA, a consideration requiring “a case-by-case determination of whether the accommodation needed by an employee is reasonable under the circumstances,” said Chad Richter, Omaha, Neb.-based partner with Jackson Lewis L.L.P.

The case is awaiting a ruling on an August motion for summary judgment filed by the state agency in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland in Baltimore.