Best Ohio FMLA Lawyer Response: Do fathers get paternity leave after the birth of a baby? My husband and I work for the same company and just had a baby, do we have to take FMLA leave at the same time to care for our newborn? How much time off of work do parents get when their baby is born?
In an age where almost fifty-five percent of Americans report dating someone they work with, it would be no surprise to find many individuals end up working for the same employer as their spouse. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the need for a baby carriage or care for the health needs of an aging parent. Are there any rules or restrictions under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA“) for married employees?
As our employment law attorneys have discussed in our legal help blogs, Family the FMLA allows an employee to take up to twelve weeks of continuous leave to care for the serious medical condition of a spouse, child or their own. (See Do I Have A Claim For FMLA Retaliation?; What Hours Count Towards My FMLA Eligibility?; Can My Job Deny Me Part Time Hours Under The FMLA?; and Can My Job Block Me From Coming Back From FMLA Leave?). Just like mothers that can use the FMLA for maternity leave, fathers get paternity leave to be with their new born children
But, under 29 CFR 201(b), “Spouses who are eligible for FMLA leave and are employed by the same covered employer may be limited to a combined total of 12 weeks of leave during any 12-month period if the leave is taken to care for the employee’s parent with a serious health condition, for the birth of the employee’s son or daughter or to care for the child after the birth, or for placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care or to care for the child after placement. This limitation on the total weeks of leave applies to leave taken for the reasons specified as long as the spouses are employed by the same employer. It would apply, for example, even though the spouses are employed at two different worksites of an employer located more than 75 miles from each other, or by two different operating divisions of the same company.” In essence, the FMLA statute contains a marriage penalty that requires married couples to share 12 weeks of leave if they 1) work for the same employer 2) request leave for care of a newborn or a sick parent. Let’s take an example.
Mike and Mildred work for Company A and recently celebrated the birth of their first born son. Both Mike and Mildred request FMLA leave from Company A and can either do the following: one spouse can use the entire 12 week leave to care for the baby or both spouses can split the twelve weeks of leave in half or some other way. Mike and Mildred cannot take twelve weeks of leave individually to care for their newborn child. If you and your spouse work for the same employer, you may need to sit down with your spouse and discuss how to handle medical emergencies or leaves of absence in your family before requesting FMLA leave.
However, if the mother has separate medical leave needs following the birth of a child, this would not fall within the overlapping reason limitation.
If you feel that you are being denied leave rights under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or are being retaliated against for taking medical leave, you should call the right attorney as quickly as possible to schedule a free and confidential consultation. The phone number to contact an Ohio attorney for FMLA help is 866-797-6040. While you focus on your family medical needs, let our FLMA attorneys focus on your medical leave rights.
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