|Lee R. Feldman: Family Medical Leave Act FMLA attorney lawyer, Los Angeles
FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE ACT FMLA attorneys lawyers Los Angeles
Under the federal FMLA, or the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), an employer that regularly employs more than fifty (50) people within a seventy five (75) mile radius is required to permit employees that have more than one year of service to take up to four months of unpaid leave if they, or their parents or children, have a “serious medical condition.”
A “serious medical condition” is defined as one that necessitates either inpatient treatment, or at least two doctors visits (or one visit plus a continuing regimen of treatment) and incapacitates the employee for more than three consecutive days. If the employee is unable to work for more than three (3) days, he/she is considered “incapacitated” under the FMLA. Permanent, recurring conditions such as Epilepsy, also qualify for FMLA protection. Thus, although the definition of a “serious health condition” is much broader and more inclusive than the definition of “disability”, it does not typically extend to common ailments such as a cold or the flu.
An employee need not specify to the employer that he/she needs “FMLA” or “CFRA” leave. It is sufficient for the employee to notify the employer that he/she has a “serious health condition.” In other words, the employee may simply let the employer know that he/she has a condition that will require inpatient treatment or several doctor’s visits and will incapacitate the employee for more than three (3) days. If the employer wants more information, it must ask for it. The employer
may request a doctor’s certificate, indicating the severity and probable duration of the condition, but it must do so in writing. If the employer wants a second opinion, it may demand one, provided that it pays for it. The employer may also require the employee to see a physician of its choosing.
If the employee takes covered FMLA leave, the employer must return the employee to their prior position without any loss of seniority.