The FMLA and ADA: Protections, Recent Developments, and Interaction between the Two Statutes

Price: $224 OnDemand


Sign up today for an entire year of unlimited access to relevant, timely professional learning courses, including webinars, eLearning courses and OnDemand offerings, and keep your professional credits up to date. All for just $399.

Learn more about the subscription!



Employment law practitioners understand that the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) both require covered employers to grant medical leave to employees in certain situations. What is less understood is that these statutes may provide complementary and overlapping coverage for the same medical condition. The faculty presenting this program will address situations in which each statute applies and situations in which the statutes’ coverage overlaps. FMLA and ADA retaliation provisions and remedies will be highlighted.

Central to a discussion about the interaction between the FMLA and ADA is the 2008 Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), which arguably increased the situations in which the FMLA and ADA overlap. The ADAAA made several significant changes to the ADA, including changes to the definition of the term “disability,” and added significant coverage for employees with temporary disabilities—claimants who, under the ADA, had been rejected by the courts. The FMLA also covers employees with temporary disabilities that require leave or accommodation. Therefore, it is important to understand the coverage and benefits provided by each statute.

Finally, the program will highlight recent case law interpreting the ADAAA and the complementary nature of the ADA and FMLA. For example, in 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit was the first court to hold in Summers v. Altarum that a sufficiently severe temporary impairment may be a covered disability under the ADA. Such temporary disabilities are also likely covered under the FMLA. An overview of recent cases is important because courts have been slowly interpreting the ADAAA’s new, broader coverage. These cases will showcase the breadth of these statutes and the expanded benefits afforded to employees by the ADAAA. Employment law practitioners will be integral in ensuring that ADAAA cases are properly argued so that the scope of the statute and its interaction with the FMLA is properly recognized by the courts.

Educational Objectives:
• Understand ADA and FMLA benefits and areas in which they may overlap.
• Find out about post-ADAAA court developments and litigation.
• Learn what constitutes a temporary disability and possible coverage of such under the FMLA and the ADA.

Who would benefit most from attending this program?
Employment law practitioners; general counsel; human resource practitioners; wage and hour lawyers.



Tom Harrington is a principal at The Employment Law Group, where he represents employees who have suffered workplace discrimination and retaliation. He was recently honored by Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star.”

Mr. Harrington earned his J.D. degree at the George Mason University School of Law in 2007, where he was a Senior Staff Member of the Federal Circuit Bar Journal and a Writing Fellow. He joined The Employment Law Group law firm in 2004 as a legal assistant. Prior to joining The Employment Law Group law firm, Mr. Harrington worked as an analyst for The NASDAQ Stock Market. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of California at Los Angeles. Mr. Harrington is admitted to practice law before the Virginia, District of Columbia, and Maryland bars.


Frank Morris is a Member of his firm, practicing in the areas of Litigation and Employee Benefits. He heads the Labor and Employment practice in Epstein Becker’s Washington, DC office and co-chairs the firm's ADA and Public Accommodations Group. He represents health care related entities, retailers, restaurants, and other hospitality related businesses, governmental entities, builders, owners, managers, architects, and lenders in public accommodation issues, including website accessibility, under the ADA and in fair housing, fair credit, and related state and local law matters. He has served as an expert witness in ADA and Fair Housing Act matters.

Mr. Morris earned a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was awarded the Earle M. Shawe Award for distinguished work in labor law, and a B.S., with distinction, from Northwestern University. He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania as well as before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and numerous U.S. Courts of Appeals and District Courts.