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I work for an employer in Oregon and we qualify for both OFLA and FMLA. We have an employee who is out a lot for her daughter. Some of the time it is for legal issues because her daughter gets into trouble a lot. Other times she is out to care for her daughter because she feels she cannot leave her alone when not in school. We believe the daughter might have psycological problems but are unaware of the extent. Would this be covered under OFLA/FMLA protected time?

The Oregon Family Leave Act or OFLA permits an employee to take time off to stay home with a child who is too sick to go to school, but does not have a serious health conditon that would qualify under FMLA.

Oregon law permits a family member to take off time for court if the daughter was a victim of a crime, but not if the daughter was suspected of a crime, or for other court business. You should treat these absences as you would any employee taking time off for personal business. If it has become excessive, you should address this issue with the employee. You can also require that she use her vacation and sick leave for this purpose.

If the daughter had psychological problems and was receiving ongoing treatment from a psychologist or therapist, that could very well qualify as a serious health condition under both FMLA and OFLA. The mother could even take time off for the appointments. However, it is not up to you to diagnose the daughter — it is up to a healthcare provider to do so.

The next time the employee is absent for a situation related to her daughter, you should notify her of her rights under FMLA and OFLA. This will serve two purposes. In order to certify for FMLA, the daughter will have to see a professional and seek treatment for her problems, which is a very good thing. Second, it will put this employee and your other staff members on notice that parents do not have the right to take unlimited time off whenever they please, even if they have a good excuse for doing so.

Any leave granted for a serious health condition should be OFLA and FMLA concurrently.

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This entry was posted on Friday, July 30th, 2010 at 4:14 pm and is filed under
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One Response to “OFLA/FMLA”

  1. » OFLA/FMLA Human Resource Blog « Human Resources 123 Says:

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