Most working parents are entitled to at least 18 weeks leave to
look after children aged under five.
such as the employee's own serious health condition, or parental leave to
bond with a new child or a newly placed foster child or adopted child.
Employees can donate their unused leave to
the employer's leave bank; employees needing extra paid time off can withdraw the donated leave.
For which family members can an employee take FMLA leave to
In one lawsuit that UnumProvident cited, a long-time employee alleged his former employer terminated him for using family medical leave to
care for two ill parents.
For example, if employees need to take a short leave to
care for a spouse, they can use only part of their paid family leave allotment.
This rule has been fairly well-learned in Washington and people who leave to
scoop up the dough keep quiet.
The law guarantees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to
full-time workers who need to care for their parents, spouses, newborn or newly adopted children, sick children or themselves.
Now, companies that have more than 50 employees must grant up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-guaranteed leave to
care for a newly born or adopted child, a sick family member, or a serious health condition of their own.
The Act permits leave to
be taken for these purposes "intermittently" or on a "reduced leave schedule" when medically necessary, without the employers approval.
Employers should check with knowledgeable legal counsel before denying any worker leave to
be sure they aren't violating any state or local laws that might preempt the act.
Some states, including New Jersey and Massachusetts, are considering laws to allow up to 26 weeks leave to
care for newborn, adopted or seriously ill children.
My time off with my babies was amazing," said Lorna Richardson Evans, who took paid leave to
bond with her triplets.
State and federal law also allow eligible employees, men and women, to take protected leave to
bond with a newborn child or a newly placed foster child or newly adopted child (under the age of 18 or an adult dependent incapable of self care due to a physical or mental impairment).
Employees do not have the option of making elective deferrals or contributions to the plan, and cannot choose whether to participate in the plan or determine how much accumulated, unused sick leave to
contribute to the plan.