• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

FMLA caregivers must stay close; calls don’t count

by on
in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

While the FMLA allows employees time off to care for a sick spouse, child or parent, such "care" doesn't have to be physical. FMLA regulations say employees can take FMLA leave to provide psychological care and support, too. But employees can provide psychological care only when they're in close proximity to the sick person. Long-distance phone calls won't cut the mustard.

A previous court ruling granted an employee FMLA time to help his father with depression by staying at the father's home and giving emotional support. In another case, an employee was allowed FMLA leave to care for his healthy kids while ?his wife cared for their hospitalized child. In both cases, the employees provided direct psychological support. Being there really does count.

Recent case: Charles Tellis, an airline mechanic in Seattle, took FMLA leave to care for his wife in the final days of her pregnancy. Right after Tellis took leave, his car broke down. Since he owned another car in Atlanta, he flew across the country to pick it up. While driving the car back, he called his wife regularly from his cell phone. He missed the birth by one day. When he returned to work, the company fired him.

Tellis sued, alleging he was entitled to FMLA leave during the cross-country drive because his phone calls provided psychological comfort for his wife. But the court tossed out his case, saying phone calls aren't the sort of "psychological care" that FMLA rules had in mind. If phone calls were enough, he surely could have come to work and made those calls during breaks. (Tellis v. Alaska Airlines, No. 04-35137, 9th Cir., 2005)

Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!

Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...

We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.

The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.

" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/162/fmla-caregivers-must-stay-close-calls-dont-count "

Leave a Comment