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FMLA – In Loco Parentis

Question:

I have an employee who wants to exercise FMLA rights to take her grandmother, who is seriously ill, to doctors’ appointments. Do I have to let her?

Answer:

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) specifically states that an employee is eligible for leave for their own serious illness, or that of an immediate family member (child, spouse or parent). However, in June of 2010, the Department of Labor acknowledged “in loco parentis” status, in which someone functions as a parent on an ongoing, day to day basis, regardless of blood or legal relationship. In this circumstance, if the employee can demonstrate that the grandmother was “in loco parentis”, that she raised her as a parent might on an ongoing, day to day basis, then you she may be entitled to the request if she meets all other eligibility requirements.

Go to www.dol.gov for more information regarding the Family and Medical Leave Act.

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