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The Wagner Law Group

The Wagner Law Group is a nationally recognized practice in the areas of ERISA and employee benefits, estate planning, employment, labor and human resources and investment management.



Established in 1996, The Wagner Law Group is dedicated to the highest standards of integrity, excellence and thought leadership and is considered to be amongst the nation's premier ERISA and employee benefits law firms. The firm has eight offices across the country, providing unparalleled legal advice to its clients, including large, small and nonprofit corporations as well as individuals and government entities worldwide. The Wagner Law Group's 33 attorneys, senior benefits consultant and seven paralegals combine many years of experience in their fields of practice with a variety of backgrounds. Nine of the attorneys are AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell and six are Fellows of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, an invitation-only organization of nationally recognized employee benefits lawyers.  Five of the firm's attorneys have been named to the prestigious Super Lawyers list for 2018, which highlights outstanding lawyers based on a rigorous selection process. The Wagner Law Group is certified as a woman-owned and operated business by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council. 




Contact Info

The Wagner Law Group


  Integrity | Excellence



Tel: (617) 357-5200 

Fax: (617) 357-5250 

99 Summer Street 

13th Floor

Boston, MA 02110


Washington, D.C.

Tel: (202) 969-2800


Fax: (202) 969-2568

 800 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.

Suite 810

Washington, D.C. 20006



Tel: (847) 990-9034

Fax: (847) 557-1312

190 South LaSalle Street

Suite 2100

Chicago, IL 60603



Palm Beach Gardens 

Tel: (561) 293-3590
Fax: (561) 293-3591
7108 Fairway Drive
Suite 125
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418



Tel: (813) 603-2959

Fax: (813) 603-2961

101 East Kennedy Boulevard

Suite 2140
Tampa, FL  33602 


San Francisco

Tel: (415) 625-0002

Fax: (415) 358-8300

300 Montgomery Street

Suite 600

San Francisco, CA 94104


St. Louis

Tel: (314) 236-0065

Fax: (314) 236-5743
25 W. Moody Avenue
St. Louis, MO  63119 


Lincoln, MA

Tel: (617) 532-8080

Fax: (617) 532-9090

55 Old Bedford Road

Lincoln, MA 01773







 DOL Confirms that Organ Donors Can Qualify for FMLA Leave


September 6, 2018




The U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") has released Opinion Letter FMLA 2018-2-A confirming that organ donation surgery can qualify as a "serious health condition" that is eligible for protection under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 ("FMLA"). The DOL's opinion comes in response to an inquiry it received from Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA, 3rd District).


Background. In 2016, Beutler's husband donated one of his kidneys to their daughter who was born without kidneys. Beutler subsequently authored an appropriations funding bill provision to require DOL to rule on whether organ donation was protected under the FMLA. In connection with this process, Beutler requested that the DOL confirm: (i) whether an employee who donates an organ can qualify for FMLA leave, even when the donor is in good health before the donation; and (ii) whether the organ donor can use FMLA leave for post-operative treatment.


Law. The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. Eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12-month period for a serious health condition.


The FMLA defines "serious health condition" as an "illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves" either "inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility" or "continuing treatment by a health care provider."


DOL Opinion. In Opinion Letter FMLA 2018-2-A, the DOL clarified that an organ donation can qualify as an impairment or physical condition that is a serious health condition under the FMLA when it involves either "continuing treatment" or "inpatient care." The DOL further explained that organ donation commonly requires overnight hospitalization, and that alone suffices for the surgery and the post-surgery recovery to qualify as a serious health condition eligible for protection under the FMLA.


Employer Takeaway. By issuing Opinion Letter FMLA 2018-2-A to confirm that organ donors may be eligible for FMLA leave, the DOL has provided important clarity to employers and individuals wishing to donate organs without jeopardizing their employment.


Opinion Letter FMLA 2018-2-A is available at: https://www.dol.gov/whd/opinion/FMLA/2018/2018_08_28_2A_FMLA.pdf









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This Newsletter is provided for information purposes by The Wagner Law Group to clients and others who may be interested in the subject matter, and may not be relied upon as specific legal advice.  This material is not to be construed as legal advice or legal opinions on specific facts. Under the Rules of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, this material may be considered advertising.