Qualifying Chronic Condition?

An employee has a condition that COULD be chronic and has missed 4 days in 5 months with a 2-month gap in between the first and second absences (June 4th, Aug 27th, Sept 24th, Nov 2nd). Is there any case law, or at what point, does it constitute being a chronic condition protected by the FMLA?



  • 3 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • cnghrcnghr 719 Posts
    edited August 2015 PMVote Up0Vote Down
    I am not an FMLA expert by any means, but this is the definition we use, taken directly from the Federal Register (29 CFR 825.115): Chronic conditions: Any period of incapacity or treatment for such incapacity due to a chronic serious health condition that: (a) requires periodic visits at least twice per year for treatment by a health care provider; (b) continues over an extended period of time (including recurring episodes of a single underlying condition); and (c) may cause episodic rather than a continuing period of incapacity (e.g., asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, etc…). 

    I don't see anything in there that would define how frequently in any given time period a person would have to miss for it to qualify, just the specification that it requires periodic visits at least twice a year to a doctor for treatment.
  • I would give the employee the paperwork. It is up to the doctor to determine if it is a chronic condition. Whether migraines or back issues, these kinds of episodic illnesses can drive an HR person crazy. So let the docter make the determination if it is chronic or not, then you can move forward.
  • Good advice! Thanks so much for your responses.
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