Sister entitled to intermittent fmla

I have a friend who's sister is in a coma ( She had a brain aneurysm burst) She is the only living member of her sister, other than her brother in law. Why isn't she eligible for an intermittent leave? She is in the health care field and can be a great help. There are no other family members....Is there anyway that she can be there with her sister?? It would do our hospital a diservice by forcing her to work, when her mind clearly would not be on her job! T.Y.

2 answers  |  asked Sep 19, 2011 12:21 PM [EST]  |  applies to Pennsylvania

Answers (2)

Scott Leah
When looking at an FMLA issue, employees have a few hurdles that they have to jump.

First, it must be determined whether the employer is a covered employer. That generally means that they have 50 or more employees.

Second,it must be determined whether the employee is an eligible employee. That generally requires that she have been employed for at least 12 months by that employer, have worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months, and that she be employed at a worksite that has 50 or more employees within a 75 miles of that worksite.

If all of those are met, the employee must still have a qualifying reason for the leave. For a serious health condition, the FMLA allows leave to care for the employee's spouse, son, daughter or parent with such

Therefore, Mr. Ezold is correct. Unless her employer has a more generous FMLA leave policy than that provided for under the law (which is possible, as an employer can give more generous leave, not not less generous leave, than the law provides for), the employee here would, even if she meets the tests above, not be able to take FMLA leave to care for a sibling.

I would need to review her employee handbook to determine whether her employer's FMLA leave is more generous than the law, or whether there is any other type of leave of abscence available to her.

posted by Scott Leah  |  Sep 19, 2011 2:26 PM [EST]
Christopher Ezold
Before I respond to your inquiry, I must state that we have not spoken, I have not reviewed the relevant documents and facts, and I do not represent you. Therefore, my discussion below is not a legal opinion, but is informational only. Finally, my discussion applies only to issues to which Pennsylvania or Federal law apply, unless otherwise specified.

That being said, FMLA leave may be taken for a number of circumstances:

1. for the birth and care of a newborn child of the employee;
2. for placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care;
3. to care for a spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a serious health condition;
4. to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition; or
5. for qualifying exigencies arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on active duty or call to active duty status as a member of the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation.

None of these circumstances include sisters or brothers. Some employers have expanded their coverage to allow for FMLA leave to care for a sister or brother; those employers will be held to their expanded coverage. Otherwise, it is unlikely that any employee could get FMLA leave to care for a sister or brother.

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to contact me at the below address(es) or number.

/Christopher E. Ezold/
The Ezold Law Firm, P.C.
One Belmont Avenue,
Suite 501
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
(610) 660-5585

posted by Christopher Ezold  |  Sep 19, 2011 12:31 PM [EST]

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