The FMLA allows leave for an eligible employee when the employee is needed to care for certain qualifying family members (child, spouse or parent) with a serious health condition.
- "Needed to care for" encompasses both physical and psychological care. It includes, for example:
- Providing care for a qualifying family member who, because of a serious health condition, is unable to care for his or her own basic medical, hygienic, nutritional or safety needs, or is unable to transport himself or herself to the doctor, etc.;
- Providing psychological comfort and reassurance that would be beneficial to a child, spouse or parent with a serious health condition who is receiving inpatient or home care; or
- Filling in for others who normally care for the family member or to make arrangements for changes in care (transfer to a nursing home, for example).
- Caring for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness.
- The employee doesn't need to be the only individual or family member available to care for the qualifying family member.