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Cosmetic surgery usually won’t qualify for FMLA leave

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. One of our employees is having cosmetic surgery and plans to take leave. Would that fall under the FMLA, or would it be a leave of absence? —K.H., Connecticut

A. Surprise! Your employees may be entitled to federally protected medical leave for their tummy tucks, nose jobs and face-lifts. Remember: The definition of “serious health condition” under the FMLA has nothing to do with the nature of the underlying condition.

Rule of thumb: A serious health condition exists if (1) the cosmetic treatment involves inpatient care; (2) complications develop; or (3) the treatment follows illness or injury (such as the removal of a cancerous growth). In most—but certainly not all—other cases, cosmetic treatments are not serious health conditions.

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