On eve of flu season, know what FMLA covers — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

On eve of flu season, know what FMLA covers

Get PDF file

by on
in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) don’t predict a particularly bad flu season this winter, but it’s a safe bet that some of your employees will come down with influenza.

And as it does every year, flu season brings confusion and questions over whether the flu or a common cold can rise to the level of “serious health condition” that qualifies for FMLA leave.

FMLA regulations state, “Unless complications arise, the common cold [and] flu … do not meet the definition of a serious health condition and do not qualify for FMLA leave.”

But pay attention to those first three words … “unless complications arise.”

If the employee’s bad flu bug forces him to be incapacitated for more than three days, and he sees a doctor and receives an antibiotic, that employee could meet the criteria to be eligible for FMLA leave.

Bottom line: When an employee’s cold or flu goes beyond “normal,” you’ll need to evaluate the condition individually to determine whether it’s a “serious” FMLA-qualifying condition.

In such cases, the FMLA certification form is your best friend, as is your ability to request a second opinion if an employee delivers an FMLA certification that you question.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: