Does Epstein Barr qualify for FMLA?
Does my Epstein Barr and subsequent Chronic Fatigue Syndrome qualify as a valid medical condition when filing for Family Medical Leave of Absence?
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
There was a case where it was applied:
An automobile mechanic for the county of Fairfax, Virginia cannot ignore his FMLA-related absences when he claimed that he could perform the essential job function of regular attendance. Payne v. Fairfax County, 1:05cv1446 (E.D. Va. 11/1/06).
Payne, an auto mechanic, was diagnosed with panic disorder, irritable bowel syndrome, and Epstein-Barr disease. For three straight years, he used all or nearly all of his twelve weeks of leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. When the county refused to grant him additional leave in the final year, he “retired” but then sued under the FMLA, ADA and local employment ordinances.
The issue of first impression for the court (and apparently undecided by any other court as well) arose under the ADA. The court first analyzed whether Payne was a “qualified individual with a disability” under the ADA, and turned to the issue of his attendance, noting that “an employee who cannot meet the attendance requirements of his job cannot perform the essential functions of his job, and therefore, cannot be a ‘qualified individual’ under the Americans with Disabilities Act.”
As mentioned, Payne had regularly and consistently missed time from his job because of his medical conditions. Much or all of that time, however, had been covered under the FMLA. Payne argued, therefore, that this time should not “count against him” with respect to his ADA claim. The court acknowledged that the FMLA did in fact protect employees from adverse actions because of the taking of protected leave: the FMLA prohibits any discrimination or retaliation against an employee taking FMLA leave and further requires that leave taken pursuant to the FMLA "shall not result in the loss of any employment benefit accrued prior to the date on which the leave commenced." 29 U.S.C. § 2614(a)(2)-(3).
However, the court refused to carry this protection as far as Payne wanted. Citing DOL regulations implementing the FMLA, it held that, since the FMLA was not intended to modify the ADA in any way, “the statutes should be read independently, and if an employee cannot perform the essential function of attendance, even if due to FMLA leave, then the employee is still not a ‘qualified individual’ within the meaning of the ADA. To rule otherwise would be a judicial expansion of a Plaintiff's rights under the ADA and run directly contrary to § 825.702.”
This is an important ruling, especially in light of the frequent intersection between FMLA and ADA issues relating to employee leaves of absence. Employees like Payne cannot double dip by claiming that they should be able to invoke FMLA protections, while simultaneously avoiding the standards for qualifying under the ADA. Employers should be particularly aware of all applicable statutes during leave situations, not just the obvious ones.
- 4 years ago
Epstein Barr is a virus, so it cannot be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics only work on bacteria. EBV is the virus that causes Mononucleosis if you didn't know. The only way to get rid of it is to just let your body do it's job. It takes about a month or so to get better, at least that's what I've heard.