Employee Not ‘Otherwise Qualified’

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Joyce Whitaker worked for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

In 2009, Whitaker advised the department of a disability involving chronic back pain. In August 2010, Whitaker requested a two-week FMLA leave for recurrent back pain, but before returning she requested additional leave until Dec. 27, 2010, for herself and to care for a family member. The department granted Whitaker’s request until Oct. 18, 2010, when her FMLA was exhausted.

Whitaker then requested additional unpaid leave pursuant to her union contract, stating only that the leave was to take care of her father. The department granted the request until Nov.

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