Family Medical Leave Act and new babies

Welcoming a new child into a family can be a joyous time for a family. It can also be physically demanding. As a result, the new mother often needs to take time away from work in order to recover and bond with the baby. According to the United States Department of Labor, both fathers and mothers have the right to take medical leave following the birth of a baby. This gives the new family time to bond. These rules also apply when a family adopts a child or takes on a foster child.

The FMLA allows qualified employees to take up to 12 unpaid weeks of leave in certain situations. During the 12 weeks, the person's employer must hold the person's job open.

In addition to being allowed to take time off to bond with the new baby, pregnant mothers are eligible to take FMLA leave if their pregnancy has caused a health issue that has led to their incapacity or if the birth of a child has caused a health issue for the new mother. The FMLA also allows women to take time off from work for prenatal care. Fathers can also use FMLA leave to care for their spouse if she has become incapacitated during the birth or pregnancy.

However, the FMLA also places some restriction on this leave. The United States Department of Labor says that FMLA leave for the birth or adoption of a child must be used within 12 months after the child is born or placed with the family. If the child has a serious health condition, then the father or mother's leave can be taken intermittently. Otherwise, intermittent leave must be approved by the parent's employer.

A Louisiana attorney can provide more specific information about whether a person is qualified to take FMLA leave.