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Employment – FMLA — treatment

United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit


Employment – FMLA — treatment

An employee is not entitled to FMLA leave if he did not receive treatment during his absence.

“The DOL defines both ‘treatment’ and ‘a regimen of continuing treatment’ in 29 C.F.R. § 825.113(c). The first two sentences of that subsection suggest that ‘treatment’ includes examinations and evaluations of a ‘serious health condition,’ but excludes routine physical examinations. The last two sentences of § 825.113(c) define ‘a regimen of continuing treatment,’ as including ‘a course of prescription medication,’ but not necessarily those activities that can be ‘initiated without a visit to a health care provider.’ Jones points to the prescription medication reference as evidence that he received FMLA treatment, but as already indicated, the ‘regimen of- continuing-treatment,’ like the ‘continuing-treatment’ definition, is only useful for determining whether a ‘serious health condition’ exists. And there is some logic to this distinction. Intuitively, a course of prescription medicine is evidence that an employee suffers from a serious medical condition requiring continuous treatment—that is, the medicine is designed to treat the condition. But, taking prescription medicine is not indicative of whether an employee receives treatment that prevents her from performing her job. Many chronic conditions require a course of prescription medication, but the FMLA requires something more for an employee to become entitled to leave—inability to perform her job functions. A course of prescription medication and an inability to perform a job are not mutually exclusive.”


11-3400 Jones v. C&D Technologies, Inc.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Lawrence, J., Kanne, J.

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