FMLA Guidelines: Serious Health Condition

A serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves:

  • Inpatient care in a hospital, hospice or residential medical care facility, or
  • Continuing treatment by a health care provider that includes one or more of the following:
    • a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive, full calendar days, and any subsequent treatment or related period of incapacity relating to the same condition;
    • any period of incapacity due to pregnancy or for prenatal care;
    • any period of incapacity or treatment due to a chronic serious health condition;
    • a period of incapacity that is permanent or long-term due to a condition for which treatment may not be effective; or
    • any period of absence due to multiple treatments (including any period of recovery from the treatments) for restorative surgery after an accident or other injury, or a condition that would likely result in a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive, full calendar days in the absence of medical intervention or treatment.

Non-Serious Conditions

The following conditions do not qualify for the FMLA unless complications arise:

  • the common cold
  • flu
  • earaches
  • upset stomach
  • minor ulcers
  • headaches other than migraines
  • routine dental or orthodontia problems
  • eye examinations
  • routine physical examinations
  • periodontal disease