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Question Corner (May 2019)
May 31, 2019
Parsons Behle & Latimer Legal Briefings


Q.  We have an employee who is on military leave at least once per year. She has submitted a request for three years of military leave. Under current law, how long are we required to continue her benefits while on military leave?

A.  The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) requires employers of qualified individuals to continue an existing health plan for 24 months, or two years. 

Q.  We have an employee who suffers from gout. When it flares up, he is unable to perform his duties. Are we within our rights to send him home unpaid until he can do his job?

A.  If these flare-ups are serious enough that your employee is unable to perform his duties, or he is out for an extended length of time, there is a risk that the condition is serious enough to warrant protection under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Limiting his hours based on his condition without considering these federal protections may open the company to liability.  I would recommend you first determine whether the condition meets the ADA definition of disability. 

Jason R. Mau is an attorney in the Boise office of Parsons Behle & Latimer.  He can be reached at 208-562-4898 or jmau@parsonsbehle.com

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