Friday, July 15, 2005

Tellis v. Alaksa Airlines (9th Cir. - July 12, 2005)

When you live in Seattle and your wife is days away from delivering a baby, your decision to fly to Atlanta to pick up a car (and drive it cross-country back to your home) -- something that you did instead of staying with your wife and participating in the birth of your daughter -- does not count as "caring for" your wife under the FMLA. Even if you talk to your wife on the phone during your cross-country trip.

You could read Judge Thompson's five-page, single-spaced opinion, which affirms the grant of summary judgment to Alaska Airlines on this basis. Or you could simply state the facts and then say: "Duh."

An easy decision.