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You can’t choose the day for FMLA medical treatments

by on
in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Employees who suffer from chronic conditions may have to see their doctors regularly. Under the FMLA, if those employees give you 30 days’ notice, they’re allowed to pick the day for their appointment.

You can’t simply argue that they don’t need to take off that particular day because there is no emergency or urgency.

Recent case: Yajaira Strohl, a day care worker, suffered from migraine headaches. She requested (and was granted) a day off for a doctor’s appointment the following month.

The day before her appointment, her boss told her she had to come to work the next day. If she didn’t, she’d be fired. Strohl went to her appointment anyway, was fired and then sued, alleging interference with her right to take FMLA leave.

The day care center argued there was nothing urgent about Strohl’s appointment, so the absence wasn’t protected by the FMLA.

But the court said she was entitled to the time off because she had given appropriate notice.

Plus, reasoned the court, employees with chronic conditions have to see their doctors at some time. If the employer’s reasoning prevailed, it would mean that such employees may never be able to see their doctors. (Strohl v. Brite Adventure Center, No. 08-CV-259, ED NY, 2009)

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