Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lay Testimony May Supplement Medical Testimony in FMLA Cases

In Schaar v. Lehigh Valley Health Services, Inc., the Third Circuit Court of Appeals held, in an FMLA suit concerning the denial or applicability of FMLA leave, that an employee may use his/her own lay testimony to supplement the medical testimony of a health care professional in order to allow a jury to ultimately determine whether the employee was suffering, or had suffered, from a "serious health condition," at the time the FMLA leave was requested or taken.

The Court of Appeals noted, however, that contrary to the rules in the Fifth and Ninth Circuits, in an FMLA case concerning a "serious health condition," lay testimony of the employee by itself is insufficient to allow the employee's claim to proceed to a jury.