#1  
Unread 03-15-2002, 01:12 AM
Les
 
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Default FMLA - To care for a brother.

Here is a good one which I could use some help with. We have an employee who's brother was in a serious car accident. He is over 18 and divorced. She had to care for him for 7 days while he was in intensive care. In the begining he was not expected to live and she had to sign all of his medical paperwork, etc. He has no children and his parents were not in the area to care for him. She is requesting to use FMLA for this. I called the Departmetn of Labor and Industry both for federal and state. Each said this would not be covered under FMLA. I called the attorney general's office and they said the Vermont Parental and Family Leave Act states that "a close family member's serious illness" is covered, but does not necessary explain what a close family member is. The attorney general's office has not been able to give us a specific answer yet, and said they may not be able to, it may be up to each individual employer.

Does anyone know if this would covered under FMLA or VPFMLA? Any help you could give would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Unread 03-15-2002, 06:45 AM
Robert McKearin VT
 
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Default RE: FMLA - To care for a brother.

Hi Les,
Like the FMLA, Vermont's PFLA applies to serious illnesses of the employee's children (including adoptied, step children and wards) spouse and parents (including in-laws and step parents - not to brother's and sisters.
I don't know what the Attorney General's representative was thinking of, but the PFLA doesn't require an employer to give leave to an employee to care for a brother or sister.
I hope this helps,
Bob McKearin
Dinse Knapp & McAndrew
864-5751
RMcKearin@Dinse.com
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  #3  
Unread 03-18-2002, 05:16 AM
Carol CA
 
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Default RE: FMLA - To care for a brother.

OK - maybe legally you don't have to grant a FMLA leave. But what are we talking here? An employee takes 7 days to help a brother on death's door who has no other family member nearby to help him, and you are going to fire her for that? FMLA is not paid, it's just a protected leave. Yes, she should get the time off. Sometimes we need to do what is right even if legally it is not required of us. And if anyone argues that this sets a precedent and you would have to allow others who have brothers who may die in the hospital to have 7 days off, then that is something I could deal with.

Call me soft-hearted in California!
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  #4  
Unread 03-18-2002, 05:26 AM
Les
 
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Default RE: FMLA - To care for a brother.

Hello, this is Les again. I just wanted to clarify that we gave her the 7 days off, no questions asked. We would never consider terminating someone under this circumstance. We granted her an unpaid leave. The issue is that she is requesting that this be classified as FMLA, so I have been trying to get clarification.
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  #5  
Unread 03-18-2002, 05:32 AM
Carol CA
 
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Default RE: FMLA - To care for a brother.

Hi Les,

I glad to hear she got the leave, but then my next question is, why is she wanting it to be FMLA? Does she realize FMLA is unpaid? You obviously protected her job while she was gone which is what FMLA will do. Does she have other attendance issues? Maybe she just needs some education as to what FMLA means, and that although it doesn't sound like to applies in this case, you still took care of her.

Good luck.


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  #6  
Unread 03-19-2002, 12:46 AM
Rockie
 
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Default RE: FMLA - To care for a brother.

This is definitely NOT covered under FMLA, but there are some state laws that are much more lenient than the federal laws concerning leave statutes. I know California requires that employers give more leave than the federal mandate. Vermont may well fall in this category. You need to check with your state labor office concerning this.


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