Family and Medical Leave Act
A serious health condition means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves one of the following:
- Hospital Care
- Inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility, including any
period of incapacity or subsequent treatment in connection with or consequent to such
- Inpatient care is at least one overnight stay.
- Incapacity is inability to work, attend school, or perform other regular daily activities
due to the serious health condition, treatment therefore, or recovery therefrom.
Examples: surgery, pneumonia
Absence Plus Treatment
A period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendars days which also
- Treatment two or more times by a health care provider, by a nurse or physician's assistant
under direct supervision of a health care provider, or by a provider of health care services
under orders of, or on referral by a health care provider; or
- Treatment by a health care provider on at least one occasion which results in a regimen
of continuing treatment under the supervision of the health care provider.Treatment
includes examinations to determine if a serious health condition exists and evaluations of the condition.
Treatment does not include routine physical examinations, eye examinations, or dental examinations.
Examples: physical therapy.
Chronic Conditions Requiring Treatments
- Any period of incapacity due to pregnancy for prenatal care
- Includes severe morning sickness
A chronic condition which:
- Requires periodic visits for treatment by a health care provider, or by a nurse or
physician's assistant under direct supervision of a health care provider
- Continues over an extended period of time (including recurring episodes of a single
underlying condition); and
- May cause episodic rather than a continuing period of incapacity
Examples: asthma, diabetes, epilepsy
Permanent/Long-Term Conditions Requiring Supervision
A period of incapacity which is permanent or long term due to a condition for which treatment
may not be effective. The employee or family member must be under the continuing supervision
of, but need not be receiving active treatment by, a health care provider.
Examples: Alzheimer's, severe stroke, or terminal stages of a disease
Multiple Treatments (Non-Chronic Conditions)
- Any period of absence to receive multiple treatments (including period of recover) by a
health care provider either for restorative surgery after an accident or other injury;
- A condition that would likely result in a period of incapacity of more than three
consecutive calendar days in the absence of medical intervention or treatment.
Examples: chemotherapy, kidney dialysis, physical therapy for severe arthritis.
Other examples of serious health conditions which meet one of the six criteria
- Back conditions requiring extensive therapy or surgery
- Heart conditions
- Most types of cancers
- Severe respiratory conditions
- Severe arthritis
- Severe nervous disorders
- Injuries caused by serious accidents
- Complications related to pregnancy
- Recovery from childbirth
- Kidney disease
Conditions which normally do not meet one of the six criteria and are not normally considered serious
- Common cold
- Upset stomach
- Minor ulcers
- Routine dental or orthodontic problems
- Absence due to substance abuse
*These could be considered serious health conditions if the individual was incapacitated for more than
three consecutive calendar days, he or she visits a health care provider during the period of
incapacity, and he or she follows a regimen of care prescribed by the health care provider, such as
taking an antibiotic.
Hotline Explains Family and Medical Leave Act
The U.S. Department of Labor announced a toll-free number that callers can use to get a brief
explanation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and learn how to get more detailed information
through the mail.
The toll-free number is: 1-800-959-FMLA