Family Medical Leave Act

questions & answers

Question: My wife is having a baby. Do I get a leave to stay at home with the new baby also?

Answer: The Family Medical Leave Act is a federal law addressed in 29 U.S.C. Chapter 28 that requires some employers to allow their employees to take time off of work to, among other reasons, give birth or adopt a child. Both mothers and fathers can take leave for the birth, adoption, and care of a new child. However, the FMLA does not cover all employees. In order to be considered a covered employee, the following three requirements must be met: 1. The individual must work for a company that has 50 or more employees within 75 miles of the workplace; 2. The individual must have worked for the company for at least one year before taking medical leave; and 3. The individual worked at least 1,250 hours in that year. (See 29 U.S.C § 2611(2) for more information.) If an individual is considered a covered employee, then up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave may be taken in any 12 month period in order to give birth or adopt a child. An employee covered under FMLA cannot be fired for taking protected FMLA leave nor can the absences be counted against the employee under a disciplinary policy. The leave is unpaid, but may be combined with paid leave offered by the employer. For more information, please see the Family Medical Leave Act Article for more information.



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