FMLA Guidelines: Serious Health Condition

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

  • Inpatient care: defined as an overnight stay in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility; any overnight admission to such facilities, 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, with either two or more in-person visits to the health care provider within 30 days of the date of incapacity OR one in-person visit to the health care provider with a regimen of continuing treatment, such as prescription medication, physical therapy, etc. In either situation, the first visit to the health care provider must occur within seven days of the first date of incapacity;

    • any period of incapacity due to pregnancy or for prenatal care;

    • any period of incapacity or treatment due to a chronic serious health condition; that requires periodic visits to a health care provider, continues over an extended period of time and may cause episodic rather than continuing periods of incapacity of more than three days;

    • 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