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Total Articles: 11

Is Crying at Work Sufficient Notice of an FMLA Covered Condition?

It is well established that an employee need not specifically request leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) in order to benefit from the Act’s protections. Rather, the law requires the employer to take action to notify an employee of FMLA rights when the employer acquires knowledge that an employee’s leave may be for an FMLA-qualifying reason or that the employee may need such leave.

Now This is a Headache! Employee Terminated for Migraine Headaches Can Advance FMLA Claim

In the cold, sadistic world that is the FMLA, the Department of Labor tells us that ordinary, run-of-the-mill headaches (a/k/a “non-migraine” headaches) are not covered by the FMLA. Migraine headaches, on the other hand, are covered. When I try to explain the difference in FMLA training sessions for employers, they often look at me like I have two heads.

FMLA FAQ: Can General Aches and Pains Support the Need for FMLA Leave?

I just returned from Disney World, a trip that had me chasing my kids (ages 8, 6 and 4) for days on end. So, I'm tired. And I ache. My feet ache. My back aches from my four year old riding on my shoulders. My head aches from thinking about my back. Even my aches have aches.

Supervisor's Comments After Employee Seeks Leave for Hysterectomy Creates Viable FMLA Claims

Remember a few months back when I warned employers to be wary of eliminating the position of an employee who days earlier requested several weeks off for surgery?

Two Medical Conditions Can Equal One FMLA Serious Health Condition

Employers beware: Just when an employee gives you the left jab, look for the right hook. The combination of the two, as far as the Family and Medical Leave Act is concerned, can knock employers out. As reported by my colleague, Scott Cruz, last week, an employee may be able to add up two medical conditions -- neither of which would alone constitute a serious health condition under the FMLA -- to take FMLA leave.

Court Rules that an Employee Can Combine Two Health Conditions that Result in Health-Related Absences of Less than Three Days to Trigger FMLA Protection

In a recent decision, a federal district court in Minnesota held that the cumulative effect of multiple health conditions may be considered by a jury to determine whether an employee suffered from a serious health condition that entitled her to an FMLA leave of absence, even though each condition on its own likely did not qualify as a serious health condition under the FMLA (Fries v. TRI Mktg. Corp.).

Court Rejects FMLA Claim By Employee Who Felt "Fatigue-Ish" But Didn't Call In

In a refreshing decision, a federal district court in Minnesota recently rejected an FMLA lawsuit by an employee who said he needed to be absent because he was "feeling ill ... tired, lethargic, fatigue-ish," and "needed a few days to recuperate," but who then failed to follow his employer's absence reporting policy

FMLA FAQ - Is a cold or the flu a serious health condition?

Q: Can an employee take FMLA leave due to a cold or the flu?

FMLA FAQ - Leave for cosmetic surgery.

An employee has advised that she needs to take leave for cosmetic surgery. Do I have to grant the leave?

Third Circuit Says Lay Testimony Can Help to Establish “Serious Health Condition” Under FMLA.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles an eligible employee to 12 weeks of leave, but only if the employee can show that he or she suffers from a “serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the position of such employee.” The Act defines a serious health condition as an illness or other condition that involves “continuing treatment by a health care provider.” The regulations related to the FMLA require a showing of at least three days of incapacitation plus treatment by a health care provider, in order to support a claim of serious health condition. However, those regulations do not require – or even mention – that expert medical evidence is necessary to prove those days of incapacitation, and courts have been left to determine the role that a doctor’s diagnosis plays in that proof. Recently, the 3d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that a combination of personal and medical testimony regarding the illness of a medical practice receptionist was sufficient to raise a jury issue regarding whether that person suffered from a serious health condition sufficient to support a claim under the FMLA.

Appeals Court Holds That An Employee's Self-Diagnosis Can Establish Ongoing Medical Condition Under The FMLA.

Brace yourself for yet another twist in the ever-evolving standards governing an employee's leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). On March 11, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit joined the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in holding a combination of expert and lay testimony can establish that an employee was medically incapacitated for more than three days, thereby triggering FMLA protection.
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