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Indefinite Leave Not a "Reasonable Accommodation" Under ADA

By Lenny Giltman, Legal Intern

A Kansas federal court has ruled that Breck Bowers, a computer programmer who suffers from major depression, anxiety and panic attacks, did not have a disability protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title I. Bowers v. Multimedia Cablevision, Inc., 1998 WL 856074 (D. Kan. 1998). After suffering from a panic attack Bowers asked his employer for indefinite leave. Following a Tenth Circuit case, the court ruled that Bowers was properly terminated because indefinite leave does not constitute a "reasonable accommodation" protected under Title I of the ADA. Furthermore, the court could find no other reasonable accommodation that would have allowed him to return to work.