Can an employee use the FMLA Act for the care of a sick Father in Law? Is this considered an immediate family member?
No. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act permits an employee to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition. The FMLA defines immediate family member as a spouse, parent or son or daughter (under the age of 18.)
Suppose Dick and Jane are married. Dicks father has a stroke. Dick is entitled to FMLA to care for his father, but Jane is not entitled to FMLA to care for her father-in-law.
Some states have family leave laws that would permit leave in this situation. In Hawaii, for example, the employee would be entitled to time off for this purpose.
If the father-in-law were a member of the active military, then the next of kin could take up to 26 weeks of unpaid military family leave to care for him. But this only applies to members of the active military, National Guard and Reserve.
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