Leave of Absence Attorneys – An employee who is unable to perform the essential functions of her job because of a serious health condition is entitled to an leave of absence under the Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
A “serious health condition” under the FMLA is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves:
- inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility; or
- continuing treatment by a health care provider.
Any period of incapacity due to a chronic serious health condition also entitles an employee to FMLA leave. A chronic serious health condition is one that: requires periodic visits for treatment by a health care provider, continues over an extended time, and may cause an episodic period of incapacity (e.g., asthma, diabetes, epilepsy).
We have a detailed page on FMLA here. If you are a California worker, then read our California Family Right’s Act CFRA page first.
What is Not a Serious Health Condition
Depression may constitute a serious health condition where the employee is under the treatment by a health care provider. However, absence because of the employee’s alcoholism or substance abuse generally does not qualify for FMLA leave.
The following conditions ordinarily do not constitute a serious health conditions and do not qualify for FMLA leave:
- common flu, cold, upset stomach, headaches (migraines may be excepted), routine dental or orthodontia problems, etc.
- cosmetic treatments (for example, most treatments for acne or plastic surgery do not qualify as a ‘serious health condition’) unless complications develop.
If you have had your leave cut short by an employer, or denied outright, contact our employment lawyers to learn if your legal rights have been violated. While our office is located in Orange County, we serve clients throughout California.