Flight Attendants with long term debilitating illnesses that adversely affects their attendance record have the right to file for an attendance exemption under the American for Disabilities Act. Filing and receiving an attendance exemption will prevent the company from issuing any discipline against the Flight Attendant while they are away from work due to their illness. To receive an attendance exemption from the medical department the following steps must be taken.
Your physician must write to the American Airlines medical department documenting the following:
Details of the symptoms of the illness, for example, you have been in the Dr.’s office four times in the last month with symptoms of insomnia, loss of appetite, agitation, which resulted in a the loss of the ability to carry out daily life activities.
Document that the above symptoms prevent the F/A from performing their essential job function at work.
Your Dr. should then state that the F/A will need as a reasonable accommodation, an attendance exemption to the attendance policy under the American with Disabilities Act.
This information should be faxed to the F/A’s local area medical director. Copies of everything should be kept, including a receipt of the fax with a time and date stamp.
Once the paperwork is submitted, the medical review board will consider the accommodation and, once approved, will send a letter to the F/A’s supervisor stating that an attendance exemption is granted. The F/A should read the accommodation to ensure that they understand their responsibilities. For instance, the exemption may be granted, however the F/A may have to have their Dr. document any future absences from work as being related to that illness.
More information about the American with Disabilities Act can be found at www.ada.gov.
The EEOC can also be contacted for questions regarding the ADA at 1-800-669-4000.