FMLA–Expanded? Clarified? When Can Leave Be Taken to Care for Adult Son or Daughter
The Family and Medical Leave Act applicable to employers employing 50 or more employees, provides eligible employees with time off to attend to ones’ own serious health condition, as well as time off to care for family members. Generally, the law has defined family member to include: a spouse, a parent, or a child under the age of 18, except to the extent the child is disabled.
The Department of Labor has recently issued guidance clarifying when time off can be taken to care for an adult child. Of particular note, although the adult child must be disabled, the disability need not have existed when the child was a minor.
The definition of disability is the same as that used by the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and should be construed broadly. The ADA defines disability as an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment.
Finally, to be entitled to take leave, the adult child must need assistance with three or more activities of daily living (ADL).
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