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Is a broken hand a “Serious Health Condition” under FMLA?

We had an employee that broke his hand outside of work and was not able to work. Does a broken hand fall under a “serious health condition” for FMLA?

He had 2 doctors appointments, once at the beginning (ER) and then a follow up to remove the cast.

He was not able to work because he needs both hands to perform his job.

Yes, a broken hand is a serious health condition under FMLA. This is exactly the type of employment situation the FMLA was designed for. The serious health condition includes cancer, heart attack and stroke but it also includes many, many other conditions that most people dont consider, from depression and other mental illnesses to treatment for drug abuse or alcoholism, to migraine headaches, asthma and panic attacks.

Pregnancy is always a serious health condition but we will assume that this male employee is not pregnant.

A serious health condition is one that requires inpatient care or continuing treatment by a healthcare provider. It must meet any one of these conditions:

a) Any period of incapacity for a chronic health condition

b) Any period of incapacity for treatment of a long-term or permanent condition with no cure

c) Any period of incapacity of 3 days or more with two visits to a healthcare provider or one visit and ongoing treatment

In this case, the cast is continuing treatment, and because the employee cannot work with the case, this is a period of incapacity lasting more than 3 days. For another employee who could work with one hand, this might have been only a one-day incapacity with continuing care (the cast), but it would still be a serious health condition.

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This entry was posted on Friday, July 2nd, 2010 at 7:17 am and is filed under
Attendance Management.
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One Response to “Is a broken hand a “Serious Health Condition” under FMLA?”

  1. Gertie Semler Says:

    Interesting blog, ta! I finally see the larger picture :)

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