Tuesday, January 22, 2013

DOL Issues Guidance on FMLA for Adult Children

Most people know that FMLA covers leave to care for a son or daughter who is under 18 and has a serious health condition. But, did you know that FMLA also covers a child who is "18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability?"

Last week, the Department of Labor issued its first Administrator's Interpretation of the year. In Administrator's Interpretation 2013-1, the Department addressed FMLA for adult sons and daughters. In summary:
A parent will be entitled to take FMLA leave to care for a son or daughter 18 years of age or older, if the adult son or daughter:
(1) has a disability as defined by the ADA;
(2) is incapable of self-care due to that disability;
(3) has a serious health condition; and
(4) is in need of care due to the serious health condition.
It is only when all four requirements are met that an eligible employee is entitled to FMLA-protected leave to care for his or her adult son or daughter.
Read the full document for details on the individual elements. Now might be a good time to dust off your FMLA policy to see if you have this covered.

Image: DOL logo used in commentary on DOL. Not official use.