Reading Hospital assigns parking locations to employees based on seniority, department location and shift. Caught using a purloined parking pass, plaintiff was reassigned to a remote parking location, which required her to take a shuttle bus from her worksite to her car at the end of the workday, which delayed her departure, which made her unable to get to her daughter’s daycare before it closed, which led her to ask for time off to find a suitable daycare provider that stayed open later, which was granted for a week. When she did not return the next scheduled workday, her employer terminated her. She claimed that her employer violated the FMLA by denying her leave to find a suitable daycare provider for her special needs daughter and by terminating her employment.
The district court denied the employer’s motion for summary judgment, finding issues of fact about whether plaintiff’s daughter had a chronic serious health condition that caused an impairment that resulted in the daughter’s incapacity, and plaintiff’s need to care for her by finding a suitable daycare provider for her. On this latter issue, the court noted that the FMLA regulations state that “caring for” includes making arrangements for “changes in care” and that the regulations do not require that the change in care relate to medical treatment. While not determining the outcome of the case, the court stated that "when Reading Hospital changed [plaintiff’s] parking assignment, she had to make arrangements for a change in [her daughter’s] care, entitling [plaintiff] to FMLA leave." Wegelin v. The Reading Hospital and Medical Center (E.D.Pa. Nov. 29, 2012)