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Document Type

Comments

Abstract

On September 20, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc. held that an employee requesting a multi-month leave of absence is not a “qualified individual” employee under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and that such leave is therefore not a reasonable accommodation as defined by the ADA. In so doing, the court split from its sister circuits and made a bright-line rule that categorically excludes certain employees with disabilities from protection under the ADA. This Comment argues that the Seventh Circuit should have left more room for case by case inquiries into the specific circumstances of leave of absence requests to align with the underlying purposes of the ADA: providing individualized accommodations to employees with disabilities to ensure they have access to equal employment opportunities.

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