“Psychological Care Under FMLA: How Can an Employee Qualify?”


Knowing how to address the needs of employees with caregiving responsibilities can be complicated. It becomes even more challenging when an employee's parent or child becomes so seriously ill that the employee requests a leave of absence to provide care that is not physical, but psychological. Attorneys Dena B. Calo and Julia A. O'Halloran offer some insights into how an employer can handle such a situation based on a hypothetical scenario and actual court outcomes.

Dear Employment Law Specialists,

Several months ago, we approved FMLA leave for an employee to care for her father who was undergoing cancer treatment. We recently found out, through investigation, that our employee did not ever actually visit her father. Rather, she now claims that she spoke with him consistently over the phone throughout her leave, and that she consulted with her father’s doctors about his treatment. Is it possible that her leave could still be protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act, even though she never saw her father? – R.S., HR Director.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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