not limited to access to sites, use and possession of sacred objects, and the freedom to worship through ceremonials and traditional rights."
Under 5 U.S.C. 6381(2))B), OPM is authorized to designate any other health care provider who is determined by OPM to be capable of providing health care services. In response to these comments, OPM has revised the definition of "health care provider" to include a Native American, including an Eskimo, Aleut, and Native Hawaiian, who is recognized as a traditional healing practitioner by native traditional religious leaders and who practices traditional healing methods as believed, expressed, and exercised in Indian religions of the American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut, and Native Hawaiians, consistent with the Native American Religious Freedom Act.
In addition, the definition of "health care provider" has been expanded to include health care providers who practice in a country other than the United States. This change ensures coverage under the FMLA for an employee or his or her spouse, son, daughter, or parent who becomes eligible for leave under the FMLA while abroad or residing in a foreign country. This is consistent with DOL's final regulations.
One commenter suggested that the definition of "health care provider" should provide more specificity as to who is an acceptable health care provider. We believe that the broad scope of the revised definition of "health care provider" should minimize the need for an exhaustive listing of health care providers.
Incapacity. A definition of "incapacity" was added because the term is used within the expanded definition of "serious health condition" in the final regulations. "Incapacity" means the inability to work, attend school, or perform other regular daily activities because of a serious health condition or treatment for or recovery from a serious health condition.
Intermittent leave or reduced leave schedule. An agency noted that the interim regulations state that intermittent leave may include time periods of less than 1 hour. The agency stated that this would obligate agencies to grant leave in increments of less than 1 hour, even though the agency's policy for granting all other leave is in increments of full hours. The regulations have been revised to permit agencies to grant leave under the FMLA in the same increments as all other leave is granted. Leave under the FMLA may be taken for a period of less than 1 hour if agency policy provides for a minimum charge for leave of less than 1 hour.
Parent, Son or Daughter, and Spouse. Four commenters stated that the definition of "family" in OPM's interim regulations is too narrow and does not reflect the reality of today's family arrangements. The commenters recommended that the definition of "family" be broadened to include individuals in other than traditional nuclear families. One commenter suggested adopting the definition of "family member" used in the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program.