FMLA does not cover faith healing trip Source: Adjunct Law Prof Blog; http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/adjunctprofs/ Reproduced with permission. Copyright © 2011, Mitchell H. Rubinstein, Esq., Adjunct Professor of Law, St. Johns Law School and New York Law School, All rights reserved. Tayag v. Lahey Clinic, ____F.3d____(1st Cir. Jan. 22, 2011), is both an interesting and important case. The First Circuit held that a company that fired a woman for taking unapproved time off to accompany her husband on a "faith healing" trip did not violate the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. The circuit agreed with a lower court's finding that the trip, a seven-week "healing pilgrimage" was not protected under the statute "because it was effectively a vacation." Such travel is not "medical care" as defined by the FMLA, 29 U.S.C. §2601. Mitchell H. Rubinstein NYPPL Comments: In Sanni v NYS Office of Mental Health [USDC, EDNY, decided February 15, 2000], "faith healing" was one of the issues in a disciplinary action. Thomas Sanni, then employed in a grade 27 project director position at Kings Park Psychiatric Center, was served with disciplinary charges pursuant to Section 75 of the Civil Service Law. Ultimately a hearing officer found Sanni guilty of 11 of the 14 charges filed against him. Among the charges for which Sanni was found guilty: "Improperly participating in and supporting the decision to employ the minister of [Sanni's] church to exorcise a patient 'possessed by spirits.'" .
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