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Maternity leave isn’t just for new mothers

Did you know that, as new father, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may apply to you as well? If your employer is subject to the provisions of the FMLA, you can take a leave of absence to care for a new or injured child. You can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave with the knowledge that your job will be waiting when you return.

In order to take leave that is protected under the FMLA, certain conditions must apply. If you meet these conditions, and your employer denies your request, you may be able to file a claim for a violation of the Act. Read further to find out more about the requirements that must exist for you to take leave under the FMLA.

Eligibility status

In order to be eligible for protected leave as provided by the FMLA, you must work for a covered employer. This means that if you are employed by a private non-governmental employer, there must be more than 50 employees on the payroll. These employees must be within 75 miles of where you work in Los Angeles. You must have worked for the company for at least 12 months, however it does not have to be consecutive. In addition, you must have put in at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months before your plan to begin your leave.

Qualifying reasons

In order to qualify for leave under the FMLA, you must request the leave for certain reasons. For example, if you are expecting a new baby, adopting a child or opening your home to a foster child, then you will qualify to take leave. Other reasons include, taking care of your spouse, child or a parent that is suffering from a severe medical issue. You are also eligible for leave if you are the one suffering from a serious health problem.

Requesting leave

If you plan to take unpaid leave according to the provisions of the FMLA, you will have to provide notice to your employer. You must explain the reasons why you are requesting leave so that your boss can decide if the FMLA covers your situation. If you are requesting leave because of a medical issue, your boss may want a written statement from your doctor that verifies the problem.

Coming back to work

When your leave expires and you return to work, your employer must offer you your old position or a new one that has equal pay and benefits. If your Los Angeles employer denies you this right, or denies you the leave you qualify for under the FMLA, you may have the right to file a claim for compensation.

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