Answer: Maybe. In order to take FMLA leave to care for an adult child, the child must be incapable of self-care due to a disability. Additionally, the employee must be needed to care for the disabled adult child because of a serious health condition. While any incapacity due to pregnancy will be a serious health condition for FMLA purposes, pregnancy itself is not a disability. However, pregnancy-related impairments may be considered disabilities if they substantially limit a major life activity.
If the adult daughter has a pregnancy-related impairment, such as being placed on bed rest, that substantially limits one or more of her major life activities, such as walking or lifting, then she has a disability. If she is incapable of self-care due to that disability (e.g., needs active assistance in cooking, cleaning, and shopping), then she qualifies as an adult child under the FMLA. In such circumstances, assuming the employee is eligible for FMLA, the employee would be able to take FMLA-protected leave to care for the adult child.
Author: Joy Sturgis, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Content Manager at Archbright
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