Lay Testimony Can Create Fact Issues in FMLA Cases

July 1, 2010 – In The News

In the recent FMLA case, Schaar v. Lehigh Valley Health Services, a 3rd Circuit panel ruled that lay testimony in conjunction with medical testimony can create a material issue of fact regarding the length of an employee’s incapacitation.

“It’s significant, because employers now have to look at not only the medical doctor’s report about the patient, but also [the patient’s] self-diagnosis," said Wayne Pinkstone.

"The 3rd Circuit had never ruled on this or defined the law in this very specific area of FMLA," Pinkstone says. "[In Schaar,] it said, ‘We’re going to bring ourselves up to speed with the 8th Circuit and many other circuits across the country.’"