Under 5 U.S.C. 6382 and in the legislative history, Congress specifically defined "family" to include only a spouse, son or daughter, and parent. Accordingly, the recommendation to broaden the definition of "family" cannot be adopted. This is consistent with DOL's final regulations.
An agency requested that the citation used in defining "disability" in the definition of "son or daughter" be changed to 29 CFR 1630.2(h), instead of 29 CFR 1630.2(g). The agency stated that paragraph (g), "disability," includes individuals who have "a record of such an impairment," but who may not be affected currently by the impairment. Paragraph (h), "physical or mental impairment," limits the coverage to those individuals with actual disabilities and omits individuals who have a record of or are regarded as individuals with disabilities. The citation has been revised as suggested to restrict coverage to individuals with actual disabilities who require assistance or supervision to provide daily self-care. This is consistent with DOL's final regulations.
The same agency pointed out that the use of the term "child" in the definition of "parent" may be perceived as connoting a lack of maturity, is not appropriate for individuals over 18 years old who are disabled, and may reinforce negative stereotypes about individuals with disabilities. In the final regulations, the definition of "parent" has been revised to include the term "son or daughter." This is consistent with DOL's final regulations.
A commenter requested that the definition of "parent" be revised to allow the claim of in loco parentis only if the individual had served in this capacity for a major portion of the employee's childhood. Section 6381(3) of title 5, United States Code, specifically defines the term "parent" to 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" and does not include any such limitation. Therefore, no change was made in the definition.
The definition of "spouse" has been revised to be consistent with the definition of "spouse" in the Defense of Marriage Act (Public Law 104-199, September 21, 1996). The Act defines "marriage" as "a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife" and "spouse" as "a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife."
Serious Health Condition. Three commenters suggested extending the qualifying period of incapacity from "more than 3 calendar days" to 5 days or longer. They contended that 3 days of incapacity is normal for very minor health conditions and that such conditions should be covered under the rules and remedies related to short-term absences because of illnesses. One commenter suggested that Congress had very serious health conditions in mind and that the term "serious health condition" was not intended to cover short-term conditions for which treatment and recovery are very brief and it is expected that such conditions will fall within the scope of an agency's normal sick leave policy. Another commenter noted that the serious nature of the