The law isn’t completely clear on what illnesses are considered “serious health conditions” under FMLA. What happens when an employee and employer disagree on what makes someone eligible?
Often, they have to fight it out in court. In one recent case, an employee had asked for FMLA leave to care for his mother, who went to the hospital to treat a respiratory condition. Leave was denied, and he sued.
The company’s argument: His mother never suffered from a “serious medical condition.”
The court agreed. Why? The mother only made one hospital visit, and recovered from the treatment in less than 48 hours.
Under FMLA, a serious health condition must:
- require an overnight stay at a medical facility
- require “continuing treatment” by a health care provider, or
- result in a “period of incapacity” of at least three consecutive days.
Cite: Scott v. Honda Manufacturing of Alabama