The DOL published Administrator’s Interpretation No. 2013-1, which clarifies the expansion of FMLA. The DOL explained that the ADA Amendments Act (“ADAAA”) expanded more than just employer liability for disability claims, but also expanded the scope of FMLA coverage for children.
The DOL clarified the following.
- The DOL adopted the ADA’s definition of disability to define “mental or physical disability” for purposes of defining a son or daughter 18 years or older. See 58 Fed. Reg. 31794, 31799 (June 4, 1993). The 2008 FMLA Final Rule explicitly adopts the ADAAA’s changes to the ADA’s definition of disability;
- The definition of a “son or daughter” is defined by the definition of a disability under the ADAAA, which “shall be construed in favor of broad coverage;”
- The determination of whether an adult son or daughter is incapable of self-care under the FMLA focuses on whether the individual currently needs active assistance or supervision in performing three or more activities of daily living (or ADLs) including “grooming, hygiene, bathing, dressing and eating;” or instrumental activities of daily living (or IADLs) including “cooking, cleaning, shopping, taking public transportation, paying bills, maintaining a residence, using telephones, and using a post-office, etc.;”
- A serious health condition is an illness, injury impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment by a healthcare provider; and
- For a parent to take FMLA leave to care for an adult son or daughter, the parent must be “needed to care” for that son or daughter due to the serious health condition.
In the Administrative opinion, the DOL provides examples.