Out of Country Request for FMLA
Posted: 26 January 2010 11:43 PM   [ Ignore ]
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We have an employee who has requested FMLA for 12-weeks to care for her ill mother who lives out of the U.S. in the Philippines.
Are we obligated to grant her leave if she meets the 1-year, 1250 hour eligibility requirements?  confused

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Posted: 27 January 2010 11:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Yes.  Regulation ยง 825.307(f) addresses this situation:  “Medical certification abroad. In circumstances in which the employee or a family member is visiting in another country, or a family member resides in
another country, and a serious health condition develops, the employer shall accept a medical certification as well as second and third opinions from a health care provider who practices in that country. Where a certification by a foreign health care provider is in a language other than English, the employee must provide the employer with a written translation of the certification upon request.”

The definition of “health care provider” includes a practitioner from another country:  “A health care provider listed above who practices in a country other than the United States, who is authorized to practice in accordance with the law of that country, and who is performing within the scope of his or her practice as defined under such law.”

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Posted: 27 January 2010 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Here’s the link: 29 CFR 825.307(f)

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Posted: 27 January 2010 11:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I don’t believe that there are any conditions as to where her parents must live.

However,  I have heard of some companies denying based on whether or not the parent is dependent on the child for support or care.  I believe that those companies could be facing litigation since the Dept of Labor does list the care of a parent with a serious health condition on their fact sheet and it doesn’t specify “dependent” parent.

You have the option to insist on medical certification for FMLA.  If the paperwork isn’t completed you can deny the claim.  Remember to follow all the steps and timelines if you might deny the leave.

Be sure she qualifies for FMLA because this step alone could save you time and effort!

good luck.

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Posted: 27 January 2010 11:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Yes. A claim may be submitted for FMLA to care for a family member with a serious health condition who is out of the state or out of the country, provided the medical certificate is properly completed and establishes a need for care.

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Posted: 27 January 2010 12:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Allison’s answer is spot on.  But on a related issue in your post:  You refer to a 1 year eligibility requirement.  For what it’s worth, I’d suggest being careful about referring to it that way because others may misunderstand the requirement.  As you know, the requirement is that the person must have been employed for 12 months, which do not have to be consecutive months.  If you call it “1 year,” others who aren’t as well versed as you (managers perhaps?) may deny FMLA time off and you may not find out about it until it’s too late. Just a thought for your consideration.

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Posted: 27 January 2010 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Thank you all for your help. 

I downloaded a copy of 29 CFR 825.307 which explains how to handle the situation.
Your prompt responses are greatly appreciated!

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