Department of Labor issues guidance on use of family medical leave to care for adult children with disabilities

The Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division has issued Administrator’s Interpretation No. 2013-1, to clarify that the age of a son or daughter at the onset of a disability is not relevant in determining a parent’s entitlement to leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). A parent is entitled to take FMLA leave to care for a son or daughter 18 years of age or older, if the adult son or daughter has a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, is incapable of self-care due to that disability, has a serious health condition, and is in need of care due to the serious health condition. The new DOL guidance clarifies that the age of onset is not relevant to a determination of whether a parent is entitled to FMLA leave. The Administrator’s Interpretation also provides guidance on the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 on the FMLA definition of son or daughter, and the impact on FMLA leave for parents caring for adult children wounded in military service.

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