Federal Court Limits FMLA conditions

The Jackson Lewis law firm in a posting on the Employment Law Information network reported that


Federal Court Rules Hospital Employee’s Faith-Healing Vacation is Not Protected FMLA Leave

Date: 2.3.2011

An employee’s seven-week trip to the Philippines with her husband, who suffered from multiple ailments, was not protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the federal appeals court in Boston has ruled.  Tayag v. Lahey Clinic Hosp., Inc., No. 10-1169 (1st Cir. Jan. 27, 2011).  The FMLA entitles employees to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave annually “to care for the spouse … of the employee, if such spouse … has a serious health condition.”  During their trip, the employee and her husband visited family and friends, went to Mass and met with Catholic church officials.  This, the Court determined, did not comprise medical care for the employee’s husband within the meaning of the FMLA.  The Court determined the employer did not violate the FMLA by terminating the employee for taking unapproved leave and affirmed summary judgment for the employer.

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