Disability Leave

HR Glossary for HR Professionals

Glossary of the most common HR terms and acronyms to assist professionals navigating the ever-growing and ever-changing world of HR terminology.

Disability Leave

What is Disability Leave?

Disability leave refers to the right to take a work leave of absence or to reasonable accommodation for employees who are substantially limited in one or more major life activities–physically or mentally. Reasonable accommodation includes a change in workplace policies, facilities, or how work is done. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires this from employers with 15 or more employees.
The term disability leave sometimes refers loosely to sick leave. This means time off from work for health reasons, whether paid or unpaid, not covered under an employer’s disability policy. A serious health condition under the FMLA includes an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves incapacity or treatment. Furthermore, the incapacity or treatment must require the absence of more than three calendar days from work. Additionally, it must involve continuing treatment from a health care provider.

Related Terms: FMLA, Short Term Disability, ADA

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