Since I’m at home with the flu, I thought it worthwhile to discuss the leave-of-absence rights of employees with this illness.
Let’s start with the FMLA itself. It’s rules actually mention the flu by name.
Ordinarily, unless complications arise, the common cold, the flu, ear aches, upset stomach, minor ulcers, headaches other than migraine, routine dental or orthodontia problems, periodontal diseases, etc. are examples of conditions that do not meet the definition of a serious health condition and do not qualify for FMLA leave.
This excerpt, however, does not tell the whole story. It merely says that if a temporary illness like the flu meets the definition of a “serious health condition,” then the FMLA covers it. Thus, FMLA coverage for the flu hinges on factors such as whether the FMLA-eligible employee is incapacitated for more than three full consecutive days, and visits a doctor for anti-viral meds (hello Tamiflu).