“When ‘Caring’ Is Not Enough Under the FMLA”
Does the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) apply when an employee requests leave so that she can provide physical and psychological care to a relative with a serious health condition while that relative is traveling away from home for reasons unrelated to the treatment of her illness?
The circuit courts are split on this issue. The Seventh Circuit has held that an employee may seek leave under the FMLA to accompany a relative with a serious health condition on travel that is unrelated to treatment. By contrast, the Ninth and First Circuits only permit FMLA leave for travel that is for the purpose of obtaining treatment