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Defining Serious Health Conditions under FMLA


Under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act or the FMLA, employees are entitled to take leave from their employers to take care of themselves or immediate members of their families who may be suffering or recuperating from serious health conditions.

A condition that requires you or your family members to spend a night in the hospital, medical facility, or hospice may be regarded as serious under FMLA. Therefore it is the right of the employee to request FMLA leave and receive treatment or take care of the immediate family members for the period of illness.

Serious health condition under FMLA refers to any illness, impairment, injury, or mental or physical conditions such as:

  • If when sick, you miss your everyday activities for more than three days. For example, leave from school or work. Also, during your absence, you may need to take medication under the close supervision of a doctor or other health personnel.
  • If you are unable to perform your everyday activities because of pregnancy, then you are eligible for FMLA leave. Routine prenatal visits to your doctor also qualify under FMLA leave. Therefore, in this case, hospitalization for more than three days may not apply.
  • If you are unable to perform your activities due to chronic conditions such as epilepsy, asthma, and diabetes, then you qualify for FMLA leave. These conditions are severe and may require treatment regularly, such as diabetes, asthma, and other such conditions.
  • If during your incapacitation, the treatment administered is not bearing any fruit. For instance, if you suffer from a stroke, terminal illness, or other illnesses. The treatment prescribed may not seem to work, and this may necessitate FMLA leave.
  • If failure to treat terminal conditions for more than three days results in incapacitation, thus, it may necessitate treatment and absence from your everyday activities, for example, chemotherapy and dialysis sessions, and require regular follow-up sessions.
  • Members of staff may request for FMLA leave to take care of their parents, spouse, or children who may be suffering from conditions that meet the criteria discussed above.

Common questions asked for FMLA?

  • Can you use FMLA for breast augmentation?
  • Does cosmetic surgery qualify for FMLA?
  • How to get FMLA for plastic surgery?
  • Can FMLA be denied for cosmetic surgery?
  • Can I use FMLA for breast augmentation?
  • Does chronic back pain qualify for FMLA?
  • Is elective surgery covered under FMLA?
  • How to get FMLA from your doctor?
  • Is diabetes covered under FMLA?
  • How to get time off work for breast augmentation?
  • Is asthma covered under FMLA?
  • Can I use FMLA for surgery?
  • Can I get FMLA for back pain?

Exclusions to the FMLA

The exclusions to FMLA rules may include the following unless an employee experiences a complication that necessitates hospitalization:

  • Cosmetic procedures such as liposuction, face-lifting, and breast enlargement.
  • Some common ailments that may not be considered as severe such as stomach aches due to diet, less serious stomach ulcers, and mild headaches. However, migraines are considered critical.
  • Dental conditions, orthodontic, and periodontal.

Nevertheless, should there be complications arising from the above procedures, then you may be able to request FMLA leave. Some conditions may be continuous with no signs of recovery and may cause some flare-ups, and the treatment may be long-term. Thus, you may request for FMLA leave of absence to seek treatment.

If you need more information regarding FMLA medical leave or if your family members have severe conditions, we are ready to address your concerns, Contact our medical leave lawyers today for more information.


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