Juanita Caldwell (plaintiff), a single mother of three-year-old Kejuan, was an employee of Holland of Texas, Inc. (Holland) (defendant), the owner of several Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in Arkansas. On June 7, 1997, Kejuan woke with a high fever, ear pain, and congestion. Caldwell received permission to miss her shift that morning so that she could bring Kejuan to an emergency clinic. Kejuan was found to have an ear infection and was started on a 10-day course of medication. That night, at the request of an assistant manager, Caldwell worked a shift at a different Holland restaurant location. Caldwell was not scheduled to work on June 8. On June 9, when she arrived at work, she was summarily fired. On July 1, at a follow-up medical visit, Kejuan’s ear infection remained; another 10-day treatment was prescribed. On July 17, Kejuan received surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids and to have tubes inserted into his ears, in order to prevent deafness that could result from the infection. He was then put on another course of antibiotics. During this period, Kejuan was kept in bed much of the time and required constant care, according to Caldwell and her mother. Caldwell filed a lawsuit against Holland in which she alleged that her termination violated the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The district court granted summary judgment to Holland; Caldwell appealed.