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In June 2016, AmSurg Corp. and Envision Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (Envision) announced they have signed a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which the companies will combine in an all-stock transaction. Upon completion of the merger, which is expected to be tax-free to the shareholders of both organizations, the combined company will be named Envision Healthcare Corporation and co-headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee and Greenwood Village, Colorado. The company's common stock is expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol: EVHC. Bass, Berry & Sims served as lead counsel on the transaction, led by Jim Jenkins. Read more.

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Inside the FCA blogInside the FCA blog features ongoing updates related to the False Claims Act (FCA), including insight on the latest legal decisions, regulatory developments and FCA settlements. The blog provides timely updates for corporate boards, directors, compliance managers, general counsel and other parties interested in the organizational impact and legal developments stemming from issues potentially giving rise to FCA liability.

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Labor Talk Blog: EEOC Continues Aggressive Look at Employer Leave Policies


January 3, 2013

The EEOC recently announced two multi-million dollar settlements relating to the targeted employers leave of absence practices. In November, the EEOC announced a $4.5M settlement with Interstate Distributor Company, based on claims that the trucking company did not provide reasonable accommodation to scores of employees who were terminated upon exhausting available leave time. The EEOC claimed that the company's practice of automatically terminating employees after exhausting a set amount of leave without any interactive discussions with the employee, along with an alleged "no restrictions" policy violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Similarly, on December 18 (the same day that the EEOC announced its strategic plan), the EEOC announced a $2M settlement with Dillard's Inc. based on similar allegations. There, Dillard's was accused not only of having a practice of terminating employees after a specific period of leave but also of having a practice of seeking specific medical information from an employee seeking sick leave. According to the EEOC, these practices violated the ADA.

Again, as many savvy employers who have read similar posts before, employers should:

  • Eliminate any "automatic termination" language – and eliminate any such practice of automatically terminating – any employee based on the exhaustion a set amount of leave.
    • An employer must conduct a "case-by-case" analysis of the specifics of each employee's circumstances and must invite the employee into that process as part of an "interactive" discussion
    • Suggested language – "If at the end of the leave period the employee remains unable to return to his/her regular job even with reasonable accommodation, the employee and the employer will discuss what options may be available based on the employee's circumstances and the employer's operational needs."
  • Consider at least one "extension" of another period of leave

Note, however, that granting job-protected leave, under the FMLA or if required in your jurisdiction, under the ADA, that does not mean that the employer must "hold the job open." Rather, it means that whoever is hired to do the job (if a temporary employee or a contract worker), that person is in that role temporarily for a time, given that someone is on leave.

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