What should I do if my company is trying to deny my FMLA regarding my son saying that his illness is not good enough for me to take off?

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What should I do if my company is trying to deny my FMLA regarding my son saying that his illness is not good enough for me to take off?

My son recently had an allergic reaction, as well as an upper respiratory infection. He was taken to the ER and they prescribed him antibiotics. I called my company to see if I would qualify for FMLA and they sent me a list of stipulations of what FMLA could be used for. They also said even if I did qualify I would have to be off for 5 days or more. My dr. gave me a note for the whole week without me asking for it. What should I do?

Asked on January 4, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the regulations implementing it do set some conditions or restrictions on what constitutes a"serious" medical condition that justifies leave under the Act. To be considered a serious health condition, it must involve inpatient care or continuing care which meets certain requirements. Below is a link to a FAQ sheet from the Department of Labor; look on page 1 to see the definitions for a serious health condition and compare that to your son's condition: it may be that if he needed just the one trip to the ER, that the condition would not qualify under FMLA. (Note: the doctor's note means nothing in this context--that is, if the condition does not meet the criteria, the doctor's note does not entitle you to the leave.)

If your son's condition did meet the criteria, however, it does not have to require 5 days off (though I believe that 3 days is effectively the minimum; see the criteria for a serious condition).

Heres' the link: http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/finalrule/NonMilitaryFAQs.pdf


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