Ask The Lawyer

By Debra Roth

Q & A Session – Refused Sick Leave to Care for Sister

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Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.

Q:

I was recently refused sick leave under FMLA to care for my sister who is suffering from breast cancer and severe depression. I have also appealed the refusal to my manager’s supervisor. Can they do this?

A:

“Sister” is not a covered relationship under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). To be covered, the relationship must be a spouse, parent or child. FMLA generally must be requested in advance or if impracticable, within 2 days of returning to work.

 

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.

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Comments

  1. Leo the FMLA Lawyer Says:
    May 9th, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Did we find out what state she was in? Might qualify under state leave laws.

    Really helpful blog Bill, fun to read.

  2. laurel Says:
    December 5th, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    The definition of “family member” for sick leave purposes remains unchanged. It includes the following relatives of the employee: (a) spouse and parents thereof; (b) children, including adopted children, and spouses thereof; (c) parents; (d) brothers and sisters, and spouses thereof; and (e) any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship. “Serious health condition” has the same meaning as found in OPM’s regulations at 5 CFR 630.1202 for administering the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA).

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