Third Circuit Panel Rules That Lay Testimony Can Create Fact Issue In FMLA Cases

My law partner, Wayne Pinkstone, recently was quoted in Inside Counsel regarding the recent decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Schaar v. Lehigh Valley Health Services, in which the court held that lay testimony in conjunction with expert testimony can create a material issue of fact regarding the length of an employee's incapacitation. 

Significantly, this decision may make an employee's self-diagnosis relevant to the issue of how long he or she may be incapacitated.  Employers should be careful not to dismiss out-of-hand employees' comments regarding how long their anticipated leave may run, and ensure that they follow their policies when responding to requests for FMLA leave.