The Family Medical Leave Act provides that an employee can take time off from work to care for a family member. But, "caring" for a family member means the employee must be in close and continuing proximity to the family member. So, the Fifth Circuit denied an appeal by a father who argued that frequent telephone calls to his daughter and wife regarding his daughter sufficed as "caring" for the daughter.
The father was in Texas, while his wife was in Florida caring for their ill daughter. The father had argued on appeal that frequent telephone contact over two weeks with his daughter satisfied the requirements of the FMLA. Telephone contact, said te Fifth Circuit, does not satisfiy the proximity requirement. See Baham v. McClane Foodservice, Inc., 011 US App. Lexis 13620 (5th Cir. 2011).
Not that telephone "caring’ does not have some value, but really?