From the Hotline: FMLA Leave to Care for Parent in Hospice

Question: Can an employee use Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave to care for a parent who is in hospice, even if nurses are on duty to offer care?

Answer: Leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) can be applied to care for an employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a serious health condition. As an employer, you need to ask if the employee is seeking leave for a covered family member and verify if that family member has a serious health condition. Given the scenario provided, we believe this would fall under “needed to care for.” The term also includes providing psychological comfort and reassurance which would be beneficial to a child, spouse, or parent with a serious health condition who is receiving inpatient or home care.