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            Section 102 of the FMLA mandates that employers give their employees a leave of absence in three situations:

a)         when the employee suffers from a serious health condition which makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the job;


b)         when the employee will care for a family member with a serious medical condition; or


c)         when the employee will be absent in connection with the birth of a child, or the placement of a child for adoption, foster care of other related purpose.1


This statutory directive forces employers to consider many issues whenever an employee requests a leave of absence under the FMLA.  This paper will discuss some of the most important questions an employer must resolve before responding to a request for an FMLA leave.

What Is a Serious Health Condition?

            First, it is important to note that in the first two situations not every illness or injury will allow an employee to take a leave protected by the FMLA.  When it enacted the statute, Congress tried to distinguish between those minor illnesses and surgical procedures which should be covered by an employer’s sick leave policy and other more serious illnesses and injuries.2  It therefore made an FMLA leave available only in those cases involving a “serious health condition.”  An FMLA leave is not available for minor illnesses.  As a result, an employer often must first decide whether there is a “serious health condition” involved when evaluating a request for an FMLA leave.

            Congress defined a “serious health condition” as:

... an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves–(A) inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility; or (B) continuing treatment by a health care provider.3


When Congress enacted the law, it recognized that some medical conditions were clearly “serious health conditions.”  These included illnesses and other conditions such as heart attacks, heart conditions requiring heart bypass and heart valve surgery, most cancers, back conditions requiring extensive therapy or surgical procedures, strokes, severe respiratory conditions, spinal injuries, appendicitis, pneumonia, emphysema, severe arthritis, severe nervous disorders, injuries caused by serious accidents on or off the job, ongoing pregnancy, miscarriages, complications or illnesses related to pregnancy such as severe morning sickness, the need for prenatal care, childbirth and recovery from childbirth.4

            Other medical conditions are just as clearly minor.  The United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) in its regulations has set forth a list of common medical conditions which presumptively fall outside the boundaries of a “serious health condition.”  These include: cosmetic treatments such as plastic surgery, the common cold, the flu, earaches, upset stomach, minor ulcers, headaches other than migraines, routine dental or orthodontia problems, and periodontal diseases.5

            For those illnesses and injuries not so easily categorized, we must look to the statutory definition for guidance.  That definition, however, contains several ambiguities.6  The courts and the DOL have spent many years trying to resolve many of the issues arising from these ambiguities.  Their effort has been relatively successful.

            One of the first issues an employer confronts is whether the employee’s illness can give rise to a “serious health condition.”  Neither the FMLA nor the DOL regulations define the term “illness.”  That job has been left to the courts.

            In performing that task, the courts have taken a pragmatic approach.  The courts recognize that illnesses do not afflict people in methodical and predictable ways.  They also understand that certain serious illnesses can elude diagnosis, change in severity and have cumulative effects over time.  Therefore, the courts will look at the disease’s effects on the body over the entire period of the illness and not just at an isolated period of time before determining whether the employee’s illness falls within the coverage of the FMLA.7

            Similarly, the courts realize that a combination of illness can impair a person’s ability to work even though each illness taken alone would have a minimal impact on the employee’s vocational capabilities.  In these situations, the courts have ruled that a combination of illnesses will constitute a “serious health condition” protected by the FMLA.  For example, in Price v. City of Fort Wayne,8 the court held that an employee had raised a genuine issue of material fact that the combination of her elevated blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, back pain, severe headaches, sinusitis, infected cyst, sore throat, swelled throat, coughing and feeling of stress and depression which occurred over a short period of time and which required multiple doctor’s visits constituted a serious health condition.

            Similarly, if the employee has more than one illness, one of the illnesses may not qualify for a FMLA leave but the other illness may be serious enough to qualify.  In Oswalt v. Sara Lee Corp.,9 an assistant supervisor was not entitled to FMLA leave for food poisoning because it required only one visit to the doctor, and thus did not involve inpatient care or continued medical treatment.  However, the court held that the plaintiff’s high blood pressure may be considered a serious health condition because it did apparently involve continued treatment.

            The DOL has elucidated in its regulations the other two elements of the statutory definition of “serious health condition.”  The regulations explicating the meaning of “inpatient care” are relatively straightforward.  Under the DOL’s regulations, “inpatient care” means that the person must spend at least one night in a hospital, hospice, or other residential medical care facility.  In this regard, it is important to note that any overnight stay in the hospital will qualify the employee for an FMLA leave.10  If there is an overnight stay in a hospital, then any period of incapacity related to the disease that gave rise to the hospital stay will be covered by the FMLA.  Moreover, any subsequent treatment for the condition that led to the hospital stay will also be covered by the FMLA.11

            The DOL’s regulation defining “continuing treatment by a health care provider” is much more complicated.  In situations where there is no hospitalization, the DOL will consider a person to have a “serious health condition” only if the statutory requirement of “continuing treatment by a health care provider” is coupled with a period of incapacity.12  Therefore, in these situations, employers must determine a) if the employee is receiving “continuing medical treatment,” and b) if the employee has been incapacitated to the extent required.  Each question will be considered in turn.

            Under the DOL’s regulations, not all visits to the doctor will qualify an employee for a leave.  The “continuing medical treatment” qualifying an employee for an FMLA leave includes examinations to determine if a serious health condition exists, as well as examinations to evaluate and treat the condition.  However, routine medical examinations, such as annual physicals or dental examinations, do not qualify under the DOL’s regulations as “continuing medical treatment” sufficient to entitle the employee to an FMLA leave.13

            The DOL defines “incapacity” as the “inability to work, attend school or perform other regular daily activities due to the serious health condition.”14  This regulation has still left a number of questions unanswered.  For example, does “incapacity” require a total disability or merely a partial disability?  In one case, the court held that if the medical condition prevented the employee from working at her regular full-time job, it was still a “serious medical condition” even though it did not prevent the employee from working in a different job for another employer.15  Nevertheless, the fact that the employee is able to work for another employer certainly will be taken into account by the court in determining whether there is the required incapacity.  So in some cases, the court will rule that the employee is not incapacitated because he or she can work at another job with another employer.16

            Because the DOL’s regulations define “incapacity” as the “inability to work, attend school or perform other regular activities due to the serious health condition,” employers must examine the normal activities of the person who is ill to see if that person is incapacitated.  In one case, a mother claimed her 3 year old son was incapacitated.  The court recognized that the child did not work and did not go to school.  Therefore, the court looked at whether the child’s illness demonstrably affected his normal activity.  In making this determination, the court would look at whether the child participated in his daily routines or was particularly difficult to care for during this period, and whether a day care facility would have allowed a child with the same illness to attend its sessions.17

            The issue of incapacity is to be measured by the initial diagnosis, even though that diagnosis is eventually determined to be improper.  For example, in Thorson v. Gemini, Inc.18 the plaintiff was initially diagnosed by her doctor with either a peptic ulcer or gallbladder disease, and was instructed not to go back to work for over a week.  A later, more accurate diagnosis disclosed that the plaintiff had a relatively mild illness that could be easily controlled and did not require an absence from work.  The court held that the employee was protected by the FMLA because of the initial erroneous diagnosis.19

            The nature and extent of the qualifying incapacity depends upon the nature of the illness or injury.  In many instances, any period of incapacity will qualify.  For example, any period of incapacity due to pregnancy or for prenatal care will qualify as a serious health condition.20  Accordingly, a pregnant employee who is absent from work because of severe morning sickness qualifies for an FMLA leave.21

            Any incapacity due to a chronic health condition will also entitle the employee to a leave.  A chronic health condition is defined as a health condition which requires a) periodic visits for treatment by a health care provider, b) continues over an extended period of time, and c) which may cause episodic rather than continuing periods of incapacity.  The DOL’s regulations use asthma, diabetes and epilepsy as examples of chronic conditions which are “serious health conditions.”22  In a related vein, the FMLA covers absences arising from illnesses that require repeated medical interventions in order to avoid a longer period of incapacity.  Examples of these diseases are cancer (chemotherapy, radiation, etc.), severe arthritis (physical therapy), and kidney disease (dialysis).23

            There will be a serious health condition if there is a period of incapacity lasting three consecutive calendar days that is coupled with either a) treatment two or more times by a health care provider, or b) treatment on at least one occasion which results in a regimen of continuing treatment.24  A “regimen of continuing treatment” includes a course of prescription medications, such as antibiotics.  It also includes therapy requiring special equipment, such as oxygen, to resolve or alleviate the condition.  On the other hand, the regular use of over-the-counter drugs, bed rest, regular exercise, and similar activities that can be initiated without a visit to a health care provider normally would not constitute a “regimen of continuing treatment.25

            The courts have held that the following conditions constitute serious health conditions that justify a FMLA leave:

                        a.         an employee’s chicken pox was a serious health condition because it required two treatments, it prevented him from working until the vesicles were covered (a period of more than three days), and it was contagious for several days;26


                        b.         an ulcer which requires recurring treatment will also be covered by the FMLA;27


                        c.         an ingrown toenail which becomes infected and incapacitates the employee is covered by the FMLA;28


                        d.         a daughter’s upper respiratory infection, fever and sore throat were serious health conditions covered by the FMLA;29


                        e.         Keloid, a congenital skin disease which causes scarring and requires laser surgery, might qualify as a serious health condition;30


                        f.          a miscarriage which required hospitalization and had a devastating emotional impact on the employee, requiring her to remain under medical care for some time, was a serious health condition.31


            There is another lesson to be drawn from these cases.  Judging from the written opinions of the courts, these were not difficult cases.  The litigation involved in these cases could have been avoided if the employers had reviewed the statutory requirements and had used a little common sense.  The moral I draw from these cases is that employers will be able to avoid violations of the FMLA if they use a little care and a little common sense.  And, if there are doubts about the good faith of the employee, then the employer should utilize the medical certification procedures established by the statute to ensure that the employee has a bona fide reason for the leave.

            Substance abuse raises a different set of questions for employers.  The DOL recognizes that substance abuse may be a serious health condition.  Nevertheless, an employee is entitled to receive an FMLA leave only for the purpose of obtaining treatment for the substance abuse by a health care provider.  On the other hand, absences resulting from the employee’s use of the substance, rather than for treatment, do not qualify for FMLA leave.32  In other words, an employee who is inebriated at work can be terminated.  Similarly, the FMLA does not protect employees who miss work because they are inebriated.  This is true even if the employee started treatment the same day he was absent because of the substance abuse.33

An Employee’s Inability to Perform the Job

            An employee is entitled to receive an FMLA leave when a serious health condition renders the employee “unable to perform the functions of the job.”34  For a definition of the “essential functions” of the job, the DOL looks to the regulations promulgated under the Americans with Disabilities Act.35

            Whether the employee is able to perform the essential functions of the position is clearly a question of fact and will vary from case to case.  For example, in Hendry v. GTE North, Inc.,36 the employee suffered from migraine headaches, and established a genuine issue of material fact that her headaches constituted a serious health condition by presenting evidence that when she was experiencing a migraine she was unable to perform the essential functions of her position.  In contrast, in Reich v. The Standard Register Co.,37 the court held that the employee was not entitled to a leave even though the employee claimed that he had an arthritic foot and leg condition which allegedly caused the press operator difficulty in working excessive hours.  In this case, the court found it significant that the employee’s own doctor said that the 40 hour week was a compromise and not a medical necessity.

            The inquiry into whether an employee is able to perform the essential functions of her job should focus on her ability to perform those functions with her current employer.  For example, in Stekloff v. St. John’s Mercy Health Systems,38 the plaintiff employee was unable to work as a psychiatric nurse at her regular employer; however, she was able to work as a nurse at another hospital.  The court nevertheless held that the employee was entitled to a FMLA leave.  The court explained that Congress intended that the statutory protections should be interpreted broadly and in a way that would give effect to its remedial purpose.  The court held that the employee’s inability to perform her duties at the defendant qualified her for an FMLA leave.

            The inability to perform the essential functions of a job does not have to be for a long time.  A right to an FMLA leave can arise even if the inability to perform the job is intermittent or periodic.  For example, an employee on dialysis or with early stage cancer may be physically and mentally capable of performing his or her job, and indeed may be able to continue to work while receiving treatment.  However, if the employee must be physically absent from work from time to time in order to receive that treatment, the employee is, during the time of the treatments, temporarily unable to perform the functions of his or her position, and therefore is entitled to an FMLA leave.39

            When an employee requests a leave because of an inability to work, the employer can request the employee to provide some medical evidence in support of the claim.  The employee can satisfy the requirement that he is “unable to perform the functions of the position” where a health care provider finds that the employee is unable to work at all or is unable to perform any one of the essential functions of the job held by the employee at the time the need for the FMLA leave arose.40  It would be improper for an employer to deny a leave request based only on its own doctor’s report.  For example, in Krohn v. Forsting,41 the court held that an employee had improperly denied an employee’s FMLA request when it relied on the certification of its own doctor rather than initially requesting a certification from the employee’s own physician.

Care for a Family Member

            An employee is entitled to leave for the care for a family member who has a serious medical condition.  The statute defines only a narrow class of people who qualify as family members: a) the employee’s spouse, b) parent, c) son or d) daughter.42

            It is important to note that there is no right to a leave if the family member does not suffer from a serious illness.  For example, in Krohn v. Forsting,43 the court held that a mother could not take an FMLA leave in order to obtain child care for her son.  It should also be noted that the leave must be for the care of the family member.  It is not available merely to visit a very ill family member who is being cared for by another.  In Cianci v. Pettibone Corp,44 the court held that an employee’s request for a leave to visit an ill and dying mother in Italy did not qualify as an FMLA leave, and therefore the employer properly denied the request.

            When Congress enacted the FMLA, it defined “spouse” as “a husband or wife as defined or recognized under State law for purposes of marriage, including common law marriage in states where recognized.”45  But in 1996 Congress adopted the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), which established a federal definition of marriage.46  Under DOMA, a “marriage” is only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and a “spouse” is only a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife.  Since the FMLA is a federal law, the DOL takes the position that only the federal definitions of “marriage” and “spouse” as established by DOMA may be recognized for FMLA leave purposes.47  This means that even though a domestic partnership might be recognized under state law, the domestic partner cannot qualify as a “spouse” for an FMLA leave.

            “Son” or “daughter” means a biological adopted or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward or a child of a person standing in loco parentis who is either a) under 18 years old, or b) 18 years or older and incapable of self care because of a mental or physical disability.48  If the child is 18 years or younger, then the parent need only establish that the child has a serious medical condition.  However, if the child is older than 18 years, then the employee parent is entitled to leave only if she can establish that a) because of a mental or physical disability, b) the child is incapable of safe care.  The meaning of mental or physical disability under this part of the FMLA is the same as the meaning of a mental or physical disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.49

            This incorporation of the definition of disability from the ADA causes problems because there are exceptions in the ADA concerning covered disabilities.  For example, what if the child is disabled because of pregnancy.  It is generally accepted now that pregnancy per se is not a disability under the ADA.50  Under these circumstances, a parent employee would not be entitled to a FMLA leave because their daughter’s pregnancy disabled her.  However, pregnancies are frequently accompanied by complications which disable the pregnant mother.  Then it becomes a more difficult question to determine whether these complications create a disability as defined by the ADA.  The cases which have considered this issue are evenly split.  Approximately half have held that these complications do not give rise to a disability.  On the other hand, many cases hold that the complications did give rise to a disability under the ADA.51

            “Incapable of self care” means that the individual requires active assistance or supervision to provide daily self care in three or more of either 1) activities of daily living, i.e. caring for one’s grooming and hygiene, bathing, dressing, eating, etc. ..., or 2) instrumental activities of daily living, i.e. cooking, cleaning, shopping, taking public transportation, paying bills, maintaining a residence, using telephones and directories, using the post office, etc.52  In Sakellarion v. Judge & Dolph, Ltd.,53 the court held that the employee could not bring herself within the coverage of the FMLA by merely stating that her 36-year-old daughter had to stay in bed to take care of her asthma; that bare assertion did not prove that the daughter was incapable of self-care.

            “Parent” also means a biological parent or an individual who stands or stood in loco parentis to an employee when the employee was a child; it does not include “in laws.”54  Nor does the term include “grandparent,” unless the grandparent stood in loco parentis and cared for the employee at some point during the employee’s childhood.55  It should be noted that in order to stand in loco parentis, a biological or legal relationship is not necessary; all that is necessary is that the person had the day-to-day responsibility for the care of the employee and assumed the responsibility of financially supporting the child.56  An employee cannot circumvent the exclusion of “in laws” from the coverage of the FMLA by being named the legal guardian of the “in law.”  The term “legal ward” as used in the statute and regulations is limited to situations where the employee becomes the legal guardian of a minor.57

            The care of a sick family member includes both physical and psychological care.58 Psychological care includes providing comfort and reassurance that would be beneficial to a covered family member with a serious health condition.59  Physical care includes situations where the employee may be needed to fill in for others who are caring for a family member or to make arrangements for changes in care, such as transfer to a nursing home.60  Examples of when an employee is considered to be caring for an ill family member include situations where the employee is needed because a family member is unable to care for his or her own basic medical, hygienic or nutritional needs or his or her own safety.  It also encompasses situations where an ill family member is unable to transport himself or herself to the doctor and where the family member’s condition is intermittent.61

            A distinction has to be made between care for the family member and care for the family member’s affairs.  In Brown v. J.C. Penney Corp,62 the employee took a FMLA leave to care for his terminally ill father.  After the father’s death, the employee remained on leave for an additional month to put his father’s affairs in order.  When the employee returned to work, the employer demoted him because of the extended leave.  The court held that the employer had not violated the FMLA because during the last month the son was no longer caring for the father as contemplated by the statute.

Birth or Adoption of Child

            An employee is entitled to a leave either a) because of the birth of a child or for the care of such child, or b) because of the placement of a child for adoption, foster care or related purpose.63  Entitlement to FMLA leave after the birth or adoption of a child ends 12 months after the date of such birth or adoption.64  However, if the child needs care beyond that 12-month period, a leave could still be obtained under the provision of the statute which permits the leave for the care of the employee’s family member who has a serious health condition.65  An employee who gives birth to more than one child is still entitled to only 12 weeks of FMLA leave in that 12-month period.66

            An employee is also entitled to an FMLA leave when the employee adopts a child or accepts a foster child.  This leave encompasses not only time to care for the child, but also for related purposes.  Adoption or foster care related purposes include attendance at counseling sessions, appearance in court or consultation with an attorney.67  However, the FMLA is not available for run of the mill custody fights between a husband and wife.68

            In this regard, it should be noted that an employee may take an FMLA leave before placement or adoption of a child if an absence is necessary for the placement or adoption to proceed.69  But if an employee requests a leave more than 12 months after the adoption, then the employer may properly reject the request.  For example, in Bocalbos v. National Western Life Ins. Co., the employee adopted a child who was located in the Philippines.  The employee had to wait three years, however, before he could bring the child into the United States.  The employee asked for an FMLA leave which would start when the child first entered the United States.  The court held that the employer properly denied the leave, since the request was made more than 12 months after the adoption had been completed70

            The placement of a foster child raises a different set of issues.  Neither the FMLA nor the DOL’s regulations imposes a minimum period of time or permanency in connection with the placement of a foster child.  Therefore, an employee is entitled to an FMLA leave even if the foster child will be in his care for only a short period of time.  Moreover, the DOL considers the placement of each foster child a separate FMLA qualifying event.  Of course, the employer can request appropriate documentation of the foster care arrangement.71

            There are additional restrictions on the availability of a FMLA leave if the husband and wife work for the same employer.  In those situations, the husband and wife are only entitled to a combined maximum total of 12 weeks per year of FMLA leave for the care of their newly born or newly adopted child, and only during the first year after the birth or adoption of the child.72  Thus, if a mother takes six weeks off to care for a newly born child, her husband is only entitled to take another six weeks to care for the child.  However, the parents would then each individually be entitled to another six weeks of leave for other qualifying reasons.  But, if one of the spouses is ineligible for FMLA benefits, the other spouse is entitled to the full 12 weeks of leave.73  Of course, there is nothing in the law or regulations which requires the spouses to split the leave.  Thus, one spouse could take all 12 weeks and the other spouse work continuously.  Both spouses are working for the same employer even if they work at separate work sites which are located more than 75 miles from each other.74  The combined 12 weeks of leave rule for spouses who work for the same employer does not apply to unmarried couples.75


            There are no easy answers for employers faced with requests for an FMLA leave.  Certainly, in an ideal world the employer would develop a practical, easy to understand guide for supervisory personnel which would allow them to properly evaluate FMLA requests.  This, however, is easier said than done.  In any event, supervisors should routinely request the appropriate medical certification.  If any questions remain after that, the supervisors should be instructed to consult with the FMLA specialists in the Human Resources or Legal Departments.

1.  29 U.S.C. § 2612(a).

2.  Bauer v. Dayton-Walther Corp., 910 F. Supp. 306 (E.D. Ky. 1996), aff’d sub nom. Bauer v. Varity Dayton-Walther Corp., 118 F.3d 1109 (6th Cir. 1997).

3.  20 U.S.C. § 2611(11).

4.  Siedle v. Provident Mutual Life Ins. Co., 871 F. Supp. 238 (E.D. Pa. 1994).

5.  29 C.F.R. § 825.114(c).

6.  Siedle v. Provident Mutual Life Ins. Co., 871 F. Supp. 238 (E.D. Pa. 1994).

7.  Caldwell v. Honey of Texas, Inc., 208 F.3d 671 (8th Cir. 2000).

8.  117 F.3d 1022 (7th Cir. 1997).

9.  74 F.3d 91 (5th Cir. 1996).

10.  29 C.F.R. § 825.114(a)(1).

11.  29 C.F.R. § 825.114(a)(2)(ii).

12.  29 C.F.R. § 825.114(a)(2).

13.  29 C.F.R. § 825.114(b).

14.  29 C.F.R. § 825.114(a)(2).

15.  Stekloff v. St. John’s Mercy Health Systems, 218 F.3d 858 (8th Cir. 2000).

16.  See Carter v. Ford Motor Co., 121 F.3d 1146 (8th Cir. 1997), where the court found that the employee was not incapacitated because he was able to work at another job.

17.  Caldwell v. Holland of Texas, Inc., 208 F.3d 671 (8th Cir. 2000).

18.  205 F.3d 370 (8th Cir. 2000).

19.  See also FMLA Opinion Letter No. 86 (1996).

20.  29 C.F.R. § 825.114(a)(iii).

21.  29 C.F.R. § 825.114(e).

22.  29 C.F.R. § 825,114(a)(2)(iii).

23.  29 C.F.R. § 825.114(a)(2)(v).

24.  29 C.F.R. § 825.114(a)(2)(i).

25.  29 C.F.R. § 825.114(b).

26.  George v. Associated Stationers, 932 F. Supp. 1012 (N.D. Oh. 1996).

27.  Victorelli v. Shady Side Hospital, 128 F.3d 184 (3d Cir. 1997).

28.  Manuel v. Westlake Polymers Corp., 66 F.3d 758 (5th Cir. 1995).

29.  Brannon v. Oshkosh B’Gosh, Inc., 897 F. Supp. 1028 (M.D. Tenn. 1995).

30.  Hendry v. GTE North, 896 F. Supp. 816 (N.D. Ind. 1995).

31.  Murphy v. Cadillac Rubber & Plastic, Inc., 946 F. Supp. 1108 (W.D.N.Y. 1996).

32.  29 C.F.R. § 825.114(d).

33.  Sloop v. ABTCO, Inc., 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 8600 (4th Cir. 1999).

34.  29 C.F.R. § 2612; 29 C.F.R. § 825.112.

35.  29 C.F.R. § 825.115.

36.  896 F. Supp. 816 (N.D. Ind. 1995).

37.  1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3021 (W.D. Va. 1997).

38.  218 F.3d 858 (8th Cir. 2000).

39.  H.R. Rep. No. 8(I), 103d Cong., 1st Sess. (1993); S. Rep. No. 3, 103d Cong., 1st Sess. (1993).

40.  29 C.F.R. § 825.115.

41.  11 F. Supp. 2d 1082 (E.D. Mo. 1998).

42.  29 U.S.C. § 2612; 29 C.F.R. § 825.112.

43.  11 F. Supp. 2d 1082 (E.D. Mo. 1998).

44.  1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4482 (N.D. Ill. 1997), aff’d 153 F.3d 723 (7th Cir. 1998).

45.  29 U.S.C. § 2611(13); 29 C.F.R. § 825.113(c).

46.  P.L. 104-199, 110 Stat. 2419 (Sept. 21, 1996).

47.  FMLA Opinion Letter No. 98 (1998).

48.  29 U.S.C. § 2611(12); 29 U.S.C. § 825.112.

49.  Bryant v. Delbar Products, Inc., 18 F. Supp. 2d 799, 804 (M.D. Tenn. 1998).

50.  Navarro-Pomares v. Pfizer Corp., 97 F. Supp. 2d 208 (D. P.R. 2000).

51.  See discussion of these cases in Navarro-Pomares v. Pfizer Corp., 97 F. Supp. 2d 208, 212-3 (D. P.R. 2000).

52.  29 C.F.R. § 825.113(c)(1).

53.  893 F. Supp. 800 (N.D. Ill. 1995).

54.  29 U.S.C. § 2611(7); 29 C.F.R. § 825.113(c)(3).

55.  Krohn v. Forsting, 11 F. Supp. 2d 1082 (E.D. Mo. 1998).

56.  29 C.F.R. § 825.113(c)(3).

57.  FMLA Opinion Letter No. 96 (1998).

58.  29 C.F.R. § 825.116(a); Mora v. Chem-Tronics, Inc., 16 F. Supp. 2d 1192 (S.D. Cal. 1998).

59.  29 C.F.R. § 825.116(a).

60.  29 C.F.R. § 825.116(b).

61.  29 C.F.R. §§ 825.116(a-c).

62.  924 F. Supp. 1158 (S.D. Fla. 1996).

63.  29 U.S.C. § 2612; 29 C.F.R. § 825.112.

64.  29 U.S.C. § 2612(a)(2); 29 C.F.R. § 825.201.

65.  29 U.S.C. § 2612; 29 C.F.R. § 825.112.

66.  FMLA Opinion Letter No. 47 (1994).

67.  29 U.S.C. § 2612(a)(2); 29 C.F.R. § 825.112(d).

68.  Kelley v. Crosfield Catalysts, 962 F. Supp. 1047 (N.D. Ill. 1997), rev’d & remanded 135 F.3d 1202 (7th Cir. 1998).

69.  29 C.F.R. § 825.112(d).

70.  162 F.3d 379 (5th Cir. 1998).

71.  FMLA Opinion Letter No. 84 (1996).

72.  29 U.S.C. § 2612(f); 29 C.F.R. § 825.202.

73.  29 C.F.R. § 825.202(b).

74.  29 C.F.R. § 825.202(b).

75.  FMLA Opinion Letter No. 66 (1995).