fmla question

can i take 12 weeks of fmla for complications of pregnancy and then an additional 12 weeks of fmla for the care of my child? Since these are two seperate conditions?

1 answer  |  asked Sep 24, 2005 09:25 AM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Gregory Gordillo
Time Allowed For FMLA Leave

Unfortunately, the short answer to your question is, probably not.

The FMLA permits covered employees to take family and medical leave for up to a total of 12 weeks per year. To qualify for the leave, you must have worked at least 1250 hours in the preceding 12 months for the employer. The employer must have at least 50 employees who work within a 75 mile radius of you. I assume that you and your employer satisfy all of these conditions. If not, then you are not entitled to any leave under the FMLA.

If you do satisfy all the conditions that make you a covered employee, then the reason for your leave must also qualify under the FMLA. Pregnancy complications and time off to take care of a new born child each qualify as a reason for taking leave.

Although each reason you give would likely qualify separately for FMLA leave, the law limits the leave allowed to 12 weeks per year. The number of conditions you use to qualify for the leave does not matter.

Perhaps you could take the leave "back to back" if by chance the first 12 weeks were taken at the end of your year, and the second 12 weeks were taken at the start of your next year. But that is unlikely. Furthermore, the employer should not adjust when "the year" starts and ends just to accomodate you. That would subject the employer to subsequent claims of discrimination made by any other employee who was not given the same kind of accommodation.

Although the FMLA does not require an employer to give you the 24 weeks of leave you seek, many employers are sympathetic to your situation. In other words, ask, and you may receive the leave. You should just know that you are probably not entitled to it under the law.

posted by Gregory Gordillo  |  Sep 24, 2005 4:21 PM [EST]

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