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.
Articles Discussing Serious Health Conditions Covered By The FMLA.
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.
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.
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?
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.