In Loco Parentis Case Summary

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A. Ms. Baston stood “in loco parentis” to Ms. Duram because she provided food, clothing, transportation, and took an active role in her granddaughter’s life dissimilar from what many grandparents do without assuming a parental role.

In addition to establishing that Ms. Duram cared for her grandmother, she will likely be able to establish that her grandmother satisfies the definition of a “parent” under the FMLA. Signs Inc. contends that the FMLA does not authorize FMLA leave to care for grandparents. However, a parent under the FMLA can mean “the biological parent of an employee or an individual who stood ‘in loco parentis’ to an employee when the employee was a son or daughter.” 29 U.S.C. § 2611(11).
In the State of Franklin, the term “in loco parentis” refers to a person who “intends to and does put himself in the situation of a lawful parent by assuming the obligations incident to the parental relation without going through the
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Baston stood in loco parentis to her granddaughter. In Carson v. Houser Manufacturing, Inc. the court was tasked with defining “in loco parentis” as provided in the FMLA. Sam Carson was the grandfather of David Simms, who was recovering from abdominal surgery. Id. David lived with his biological parents until they died in a car accident when he was 15 years old. David then moved in with his older brother and lived with his him until he left for college. Id. Following his parent’s death, David spent some weekends and extended vacations with his grandfather. Id at 805. While in college, he returned often to his brother’s home and often to Mr. Carson’s home during summers and holidays. Mr. Carson claimed that he provided David with financial support while he was in college, gave him financial and moral advice, and attended David’s graduation from college. Id. When Mr. Carson sought two weeks of FMLA leave to care for his grandson, his request was denied despite his claim that he was a “parent” under the FMLA to David.
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