Last week, we wrote about employees' rights under the FMLA to take medical leave when certain health emergencies impact the employee or the employee's immediate family. Of course, the leave is not automatically allowed for any cough or cold. Any employee seeking to take FMLA leave must be doing so for a qualifying reason, and the employee must take certain steps to inform the employer of the need for such leave. As a recent Ninth Circuit case illustrates, juries may not be receptive to an employee who attempts to improperly mischaracterize time missed as FMLA leave.
There are some things in life we can't control. To a certain extent, our health and the health of our loved ones is among those things. While we appreciate employees who wont let any ailment slow them down, certain conditions are too serious to cast aside. When those conditions cause employees to miss work, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers to excuse that absence depending on the circumstances.