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									        NEWS | Legal Matters

                           The Legal Expert
                                                            Disabled deserve better than
                          John Durso, Esq.
                          Ungaretti & Harris LLP
                                                            nursing homes, 3 states told
                                                            By Brett Bakshis                                                                                             to that suit, the state will fund
        Where might providers most                          U.S. Justice Department briefs                                                                               those services only after an indi-
        easily fall afoul of the law con-                   filed in Florida, Illinois and                                                                               vidual enters a nursing home.
        cerning Family and Medical                          New Jersey allege that the states                                                                               The DOJ also filed a state-
                                                            have failed to comply with the                                                                               ment of interest in an Illinois

                                                                                                                                   Photo: Official photo from Wikimedia
        Leave Act (“FMLA”) requests or
        actions?                                            Americans with Disabilities Act                                                                              lawsuit, which alleges that the
                                                            and the Supreme Court’s Olm-                                                                                 state of Illinois relies on large,
        The FMLA allows eligible employees                  stead decision, which deals with                                                                             privately run facilities called
        to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave              the rights of the disabled.                                                                                  Institutions for Mental Disease
        within any 12-month period for the birth               New Jersey has failed to                                                                                  (IMDs) to provide long-term
        or care of the employee’s newborn                   serve disabled individuals                                                                                   care services for the mentally
        child, the placement with the employee              by not placing people in the        Thomas Perez says states are not                                         disabled. Meanwhile, it fails to
        of a child for adoption or foster care, to          most appropriate care setting,      properly housing the disabled.                                           offer services in community-
        care for an immediate family member                 the DOJ says in its “friend of      vent unnecessary institutional-                                          based settings in violation of
        (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious           the court” brief in that state.     ization,” said Thomas E. Perez,                                          Olmstead, according to the
        health condition, or to take medical                Despite being qualified for         Assistant Attorney General for                                           DOJ statement.
        leave when the employee is unable                   home care under the AMA             the Civil Rights Division, after                                            The Obama administration
        to work because of a serious health                 and Olmstead decision, thou-        filing the briefs May 25.                                                 recently said it would refocus
        condition. Companies can require that               sands of disabled individuals          In Florida, the DOJ filed a                                            enforcement efforts regarding
        FMLA leave run concurrently with the                are being institutionalized,        brief in support of another law-                                         the Olmstead decision. The
        employee’s paid time off. New 2009                  according to the DOJ.               suit, which alleges that Florida                                         original Olmstead decision
        FMLA regulations created certain new                   “Florida, Illinois and New       fails to provide community-                                              sent waves of concern through
        forms of leave for military families, in            Jersey can provide commu-           based services to Medicaid-                                              provider groups, which feared
        addition to changing prior FMLA rules,              nity-based services to people       eligible individuals with spinal                                         drops in census and stipula-
        such as those for intermittent leave.               with disabilities, and the law      cord injuries who are at risk of         
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