Impact of U.S. Department of Labor Administrator's Interpretation No. 2013-1

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Employers should be aware that last week the United States Department of Labor issued Administrator’s Interpretation 2013-1, addressing Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) coverage for adult children issues. This is the first Administrator Interpretation to address this area of coverage.

Although it is important to review the Interpretation directly with specific questions, in summary, a parent will be entitled to take FMLA leave to care for a son or daughter 18 years of age or older, if the adult son or daughter:

  1. Has a disability as defined by the ADA:
  2. Is incapable of self-care due to that disability;
  3. Has a serious health condition; and
  4. Is in need of care due to the serious health condition

It is only when all four requirements are met that an eligible employee is entitled to FMLA-protected leave to care for his or her adult son or daughter.

Note that this will apply not only to care for adult children with a serious health condition, but also for children who are “18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.”

About the Authors

Karen Kalzer

Ms. Kalzer practices employment and education law with an emphasis on defending complex litigation for communities of faith, non-profits, schools and private employers.

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