My list of most likely candidates to take an FMLA day in Philly yesterday #FlyEaglesFly

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Image Credit: Jack Kurzenknabe on Flickr (

I teased it yesterday when I speculated that Monday may be a pretty big Family and Medical Leave Act day around Philadelphia.

To back up my hypothesis, I scoured Twitter and YouTube for some likely candidates.

I hope that you have fun with this. (I, for one, may have peed a little).

Who is eligible for FMLA leave?

I’m assuming that each of the people I identify below is an eligible employee under the FMLA. In other words, each person must check all four of these boxes:

  • work for a covered employer;
  • have worked 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the start of leave; (special hours of service rules apply to airline flight crew members)
  • work at a location where the employer has 50 or more employees within 75 miles; and
  • have worked for the employer for 12 months.

Next, I’m only considering eligible employees who need leave to treat for their own serious health condition. For our purposes, that’s either a condition requiring an overnight stay in a hospital or other medical care facility or conditions that incapacitate the employee for more than three consecutive days and have ongoing medical treatment (either multiple appointments with a health care provider, or a single appointment and follow-up care such as prescription medication). I’m excluding chronic conditions and pregnancy.

Also, I’m assuming that no one identified below has previously applied for and been approved for FMLA leave. Rather, we’re dealing with FMLA leave that is unforeseeable. Kinda like — Nah, just wait for it…

If you lack a sense of humor, here’s a disclaimer. In case you didn’t figure it out yet, this is a joke. Plus, I don’t know if any of the people below were actually hospitalized or required medical treatment. I found videos and photos online and, yeah, you get the idea…

Who may have needed FMLA leave on Monday?

Let’s start with these Vikings fans, who may need ongoing treatment for their hurt feelings (NSFW; language).

Fly Eagles Fly! This guy is a serious fan. But, I’m sensing a potentially serious case of laryngitis for which he should seek treatment to be ready to go for the Super Bowl.

Those suffering a serious greased-pole-related injury, but not this dude. I hope.

Possibly some a lot of booze involved here. Or maybe this dune buggy driver checked driving up the Art Museum steps off of his bucket list. Or both.

Speaking of alcohol-related, well, maybe that’s just an apple-juice funnel. Fortunately, that’s not really a church scene. However, this is.

Go Birds! I think? This guy is either confused or may need an overnight stay in the hospital to treat his vertigo or something.

(..and your wait is over)

No. Doubt. About. It.

And what do you do if you received a similar FMLA request yesterday?

Once an employer is on notice that an employee may require leave under the FMLA, the employer must notify the employee of his or her eligibility to take leave. Also, the employer must inform the employee of his or her rights and responsibilities under the FMLA. Calling in “sick” without providing more information will not be considered sufficient notice to trigger an employer’s obligations under the Act. However, the employee doesn’t have to say “FMLA” either.

An employee must respond to an employer’s questions designed to determine whether an absence is potentially FMLA-qualifying. Failure to respond to reasonable employer inquiries regarding the leave request may result in denial of FMLA protection if the employer is unable to determine whether the leave is FMLA-qualifying. This is usually done through an FMLA certification.

When the employer has enough information to determine that leave is being taken for an FMLA-qualifying reason, the employer must notify the employee that the leave is designated and will be counted as FMLA leave.

Finally, remember this little nugget from the FMLA regulations about enforcing your notice procedures for requesting leave:

When the need for leave is not foreseeable, an employee must comply with the employer’s usual and customary notice and procedural requirements for requesting leave, absent unusual circumstances. For example, an employer may require employees to call a designated number or a specific individual to request leave. However, if an employee requires emergency medical treatment, he or she would not be required to follow the call-in procedure until his or her condition is stabilized and he or she has access to, and is able to use, a phone.

Hopefully, your HR Monday wasn’t chock full of unforeseen FMLA requests. And God help you if the Eagles win it all in two weeks.

Speaking of which…

*** pulls out post-dated “doctor” slip***

Have I spelled “fibromyalgia” correctly?

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