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- Family and Medical Leave Act Advisor

Qualifying Exigencies - Parental Care

§ 825.126

Can FMLA leave be taken to help care for the military member’s parent or make parental care arrangements?

An eligible employee whose spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a military member may take FMLA leave to take care of certain parental care arrangements for a parent of the military member when the need for the care is due to the covered active duty of the military member.

The parent of the military member must be incapable of self-care, which means that the parent requires active assistance or supervision to provide daily self-care in three or more of the activities of daily living or instrumental activities of daily living. Activities of daily living include caring appropriately for one’s grooming and hygiene, bathing, dressing, and eating. Instrumental activities of daily living include cooking, cleaning, shopping, taking public transportation, paying bills, maintaining a residence, using telephones and directories, using a post office, etc.

The parent must be the military member’s biological, adoptive, step, or foster father or mother, or any other individual who stood in loco parentis to the military member when the member was under 18 years of age.

There does not have to be a relationship between the employee taking leave and the military member’s parent in order for the eligible employee to take FMLA leave for this reason. However, it is important to remember that the military member must be the spouse, son, daughter, or parent of the employee taking leave.

Qualifying exigency leave for parental care is limited to the following reasons:

  • To arrange for alternative care for a parent of the military member when the need for such care arises from the covered active duty of the military member;
  • To provide care for a parent of the military member on an urgent, immediate need basis, but not on a routine, regular, or everyday basis when the need to provide such care arises from the covered active duty of the military member;
  • To admit or transfer the military member’s parent to a care facility when admittance or transfer is necessitated by the covered active duty of the military member; and
  • To attend meetings with staff at a care facility, such as meetings with hospice or social service providers, for a parent of the military member, when such meetings are necessary due to circumstances arising from the covered active duty of the military member.

Note: Qualifying exigency leave for parental care became available to an employee whose spouse, son, daughter or parent is a military member (in the Regular Armed Forces and National Guard and Reserves) on March 8, 2013.

If you have any questions regarding your ability to take parental care leave, please contact your local district office.

Return to Qualifying Exigencies or Continue to Qualifying Exigencies – Additional Activities.