Smyrna, GA asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for Georgia

Q: Do i qualify for FMLA when used to bond with a newborn

My wife and I just had our 3 month old newborn. I wanted to take 12 weeks FMLA to bond with my child but my employer's HR is saying I'm not qualified to use FMLA and I would have to take personal leave instead and FMLA only for those who need to care for someone who is sick. I read the FMLA law on DOL and it said I am eligible to bond with baby during the first year. Who is right in this case?

1 Lawyer Answer
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Frisco, TX

A: Both mothers and fathers are entitled to 12-weeks unpaid FMLA leave within twelve months of the birth of a newborn, but your employer may require you to take accrued paid sick leave, personal time, or vacation days provided by the employer which will run concurrently with unpaid FMLA leave.

So, for example if you have 2 weeks accrued personal leave, you can take off 12-weeks total, but you will be paid for the 2 weeks accrued personal leave. You don't get to add the 2 weeks of personal leave onto the end of the 12-weeks unpaid FMLA leave or save them to take later in the year.

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