Most employers generally are aware of their obligations under the Family and Medical Leave Act to grant leave to employees to care for family members. However, FMLA narrowly limits the definition of family member to a “spouse, or a son, daughter or parent, of the employee, if such spouse, son, daughter or parent has a serious health condition.” This definition may appear self-explanatory, but it is further restricted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s interpretive regulations, which set forth additional criteria for determining whether the requested leave is indeed needed to care for the family member.

For the most part, the term “family member” adheres to its ordinarily accepted meaning, but there are exceptions.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to, part of your ALM digital membership.

Your access to unlimited content isn’t changing.
Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Critical information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account?



Join BenefitsPRO

Don’t miss crucial news and insights you need to navigate the shifting employee benefits industry. Join now!

  • Unlimited access to - your roadmap to thriving in a disrupted environment
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and
  • Exclusive discounts on and ALM events.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join BenefitsPRO

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.