The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) permits eligible workers to take up to 12 weeks per year of unpaid leave for medical reasons—either their own or those of an immediate family member. In the case of personal medical leave, an employee is entitled to leave for medical conditions that constitute “serious health conditions” and that make an employee unable to perform the functions of his or her position. The FMLA statute defines “serious health condition” as: “an illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider.” The statute does not further define “inpatient care” or “continuing treatment.” Nor does the statute further define the phrase “unable to perform the functions of the position.”
Workplace Flexibility 2010, Georgetown University Law Center, "Eligibility for Medical Leave Under the FMLA" (2005). Memos and Fact Sheets. 28.