For purposes of an FMLA leave, a serious health condition is defined as a health condition which requires in-patient care in a hospital, hospice or residential care facility or continuing treatment by a health care provider.
"Continuing treatment by a Health Care Provider" is defined as treatment that involves multiple treatments by a health care provider or treatment that is carried out under direct supervision, under orders of, or on referral by a health care provider. Continuing treatment may include diagnostic examinations, a course of prescription medicine, or ongoing treatments (chemotherapy, physical therapy, etc.). Continuing treatment does not include routine examinations, over-the-counter medications, bed-rest, drinking fluids or other similar activities.
A Health Care Provider is defined as a licensed doctor of medicine or osteopathy or "any other person determined by the Department of Labor to be capable of providing health care services." Health care providers include: licensed physicians or osteopaths, podiatrists, dentists, clinical psychologists, optometrists, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, clinical social workers, chiropractors practicing within the scope of their license, and Christian Science practitioners listed with the First Church of Christ Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts.
A Serious Health Condition means an illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition that involves:
- A period of incapacity requiring absence of more than three business days from work that also involves continuing treatment by (or under the supervision of) a health care provider;
- A period of incapacity or treatment connected with inpatient care in a hospital, hospice or residential medical care facility;
- A period of incapacity due to pregnancy or for prenatal care;
- A period of incapacity (or treatment) due to a chronic serious health condition (e.g., Alzheimer’s, stroke, terminal diseases, etc.);
- A period of absence to receive multiple treatments by a health care provider (e.g., chemotherapy, radiation, physical therapy, dialysis); or
- Other covered illnesses (e.g., asthma, mental illness, severe morning sickness).
Serious medical conditions typically do NOT include:
- Upset stomach;
- Headaches, other than migraines;
- Routine dental or orthodontia problems;
- Periodontal disease;
- Minor ulcers;
- Cosmetic treatments;
- Mental illness from stress; or