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C-section caregiving can qualify for FMLA leave

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Courts typically don't consider pregnancy alone to be a "serious medical condition" qualifying for job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). But, as this case shows, important exceptions exist: Incapacity or complications associated with pregnancy usually are covered under FMLA.

That means if a doctor determines that a pregnant employee must take a leave of absence, she will be able to use FMLA leave. Also, since the law allows a worker to take FMLA leave to care for a seriously ill child, parent or spouse, you may need to allow parents to take FMLA leave to take care of a daughter with pregnancy complications.

Recent case: A mail carrier learned that her daughter would be delivering her baby by Caesarean section. She requested two weeks' FMLA leave so she could help her daughter before and after delivery. The mail carrier even produced a note from her daughter's doctor, explaining the need.

A supervisor said the mail carrier's circumstances didn't qualify for leave and wouldn't grant it. Soon after, the worker was fired for poor attendance, including two days of disputed FMLA leave. She sued under the FMLA, and the court let the case proceed. Reason: A Caesarean delivery qualified as a "serious health condition," the court said, because it involves incapacity after the delivery. (Blackburn v. Potter, No. IP01-1645-C-B/S, S.D. Ind., 2003)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lynda July 18, 2018 at 1:24 am

After 27 years of dedicated service I applied for flma after my daughter had a c section. I was told I was approved and three weeks in I received a call stating that this was an error and I was not approved. The options I were given were appeal and If u lose u will lose your job or take our offer of unpaid personal leave and be guaranteed your position. Keep in mind I offered to cover payroll on the weekends to aleviate the stress of my absence. This was granted however my computer access was terminated due to my leave. Total debacle and I am going to quit and consider myself lucky. Who wants to work for such an unethical organization.


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