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FMLA & Family Care Act (FCA)
Definitions

FMLA Health Condition Definitions

The United States Department of Labor Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regulations define a "serious health condition" as an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves one or more of the reasons for absence listed under "Reason for Absence" in the following table.

Reason for Absence Definition Examples
Inpatient Care

Any period of incapacity from a condition requiring inpatient care, including recovery from the condition.

  • Hospitalization
  • Post surgery examinations
Incapacity for more than three consecutive days, including work and non-work days, that includes:

A condition requiring two or more treatments by a health care provider (within 30 days of the first day of incapacity), or, treatment on at least one occasion which results in an ongoing regimen of treatment. The first or only in-person treatment visit must take place within 7 days of the first day of incapacity, unless extenuating circumstances exist.

Examination to evaluate a condition, plus a course of treatment such as antibiotics or physical therapy.

Chronic or permanent conditions

Chronic conditions require periodic visits (at least twice a year) for treatment, continue over an extended period of time and may cause episodic incapacity.

  • Asthma
  • Diabetes

Incapacity due to a condition which is not curable but which requires medical supervision.

  • Terminal illness
  • Multiple sclerosis

Absences to receive treatment for a chronic condition.

  • Kidney dialysis
Prenatal treatment and pregnancy

Any period of incapacity due to pregnancy or for prenatal care.

  • Prenatal doctor visits
  • Absences due to morning sickness
  • Postpartum recovery

FMLA Definitions Related to Covered Servicemembers

Covered Active Duty
Covered active duty for a member of a regular component (e.g. not reserve or guard) of the armed forces means duty during the deployment of the member with the armed forces to a foreign country.

Covered active duty in the case of a member of a reserve component of the armed forces, means duty during the deployment of the member with the armed forces to a foreign country under a call or order to active duty under a provision of law referred to in section 101(a)(13)(B) of title 10, United States Code.
Covered Servicemember
A member of the armed forces (including a member of the National Guard or Reserves) who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness; or a veteran who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, for a serious injury or illness and who was a member of the armed forces (including a member of the National Guard or Reserves) at any time during the period of 5 years preceding the date on which the veteran undergoes that medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy.
Outpatient Status
With respect to a covered servicemember, outpatient status means the status of a member of the armed forces assigned to (A) a military medical treatment facility as an outpatient; or, (B) a unit established for the purpose of providing command and control of members of the armed forces receiving medical care as outpatients.
Next of Kin
The next of kin of a covered servicemember is the nearest blood relative (other than the servicemember’s spouse, parent, son or daughter) in the following order of priority: blood relatives who have been granted legal custody of the servicemember, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and first cousins, unless the servicemember has designated in writing a different blood relative for purposes of military caregiver leave.
Qualifying Exigency
For purposes of qualifying exigency leave, family members of covered servicemembers called to active duty may take leave for one or more of the following qualifying exigencies: (1) to address any issues which arise from the member learning of a call or order to duty seven or less calendar days prior to deployment; (2) to attend military events or sponsored family support programs; (3) to arrange for alternative childcare or school attendance, attend childcare or school meetings, or provide childcare on an urgent immediate need basis when necessitated by the call to duty; (4) to make or update financial and legal arrangements to address the military member’s absence, or to serve as the military member’s representative in obtaining, arranging or appealing military service benefits; (5) to attend counseling (not provided by a health care provider) for oneself, the military member, or child of the military member; (6) to spend time (up to 5 days of leave for each instance) with a military member on temporary rest and recuperation leave; (7) to attend post-deployment activities, and (8) any other events which employer and employee agree arise out of the military member’s call to duty, qualify as an exigency, and agree as to  the timing and duration of leave.
Serious Injury or Illness
In the case of a member of the armed forces (including a member of the National Guard or Reserves), "serious injury or illness" means an injury or illness that was incurred by the member in the line of duty on active duty in the armed forces (or existed before the beginning of the member’s active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of duty on active duty in the armed forces) and that may render the member medically unfit to perform the duties of the member’s office, grade, rank, or rating.

For a veteran who was a member of the armed forces (including a member of the National Guard or Reserves) at any time during the period of 5 years before the date on which the veteran undergoes medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, "serious injury or illness" means a qualifying injury or illness (as defined by the Secretary of Labor) that was incurred in the line of duty, while on active duty in the armed forces (or that existed before the beginning of the member’s active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of duty while on active duty in the armed forces), and that manifested itself before or after the member became a veteran.

Family Care Act Health Condition Definitions

Nature of Absence Definition
For A Child:
Health Condition Requiring Treatment or Supervision
  • Any medical condition requiring treatment or medication that the child cannot self administer;
  • Any medical or mental health condition that would endanger the child's safety or recovery without the presence of a parent or guardian; or,
  • Any condition warranting treatment or preventive health care such as physical, dental, optical, or immunization services, when a parent must be present to authorize the service, and when the employee is eligible to use sick leave for the employee's preventive health care.
Serious Health Condition
  • An illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves any period of incapacity or treatment connected with inpatient care (i.e., an overnight stay) in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility, and any period of incapacity or subsequent treatment or recovery in connection with such inpatient care, and/or
  • Continuing treatment by, or under, the supervision of a health care provider or a provider of health care services, and which includes any period of incapacity (i.e., inability to work, attend school, or perform other regular daily activities).
Emergency Condition

A health condition that is a sudden, generally unexpected occurrence, or set of circumstances related to one's health demanding immediate action, and is typically very short-term in nature.

Incapable of Self-care

The individual requires active assistance or supervision to provide daily self-care in several of the "activities of daily living" or instrumental activities of daily living.

  • Activities of daily living include adaptive activities such as caring appropriately for one's grooming and hygiene, bathing, dressing, and eating.
  • Instrumental activities of daily living include cooking, cleaning, shopping, taking public transportation, paying bills, maintaining a residence, using telephones and directories, using a post office, etc.
Physical or Mental Disability A physical or mental impairment that limits one or more activities of daily living or instrumental activities of daily living.

FMLA/FCA
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