Work/life balance is important to many in the workplace. And, because of this, many employees take advantage of the benefits of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) when there is an extended medical need or emergency.
Many people often associate maternity leave with FMLA, but there are many other-likely unknown-instances that qualify for FMLA leave under federal law.
Top 6 lesser known, qualifying FMLA scenarios
Under the FMLA, employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off (consecutive or intermittent) from work per year for qualifying conditions or situations without fear of losing their job.
Here are several qualifying FMLA scenarios many people may not be aware of:
1. Arrival of an adopted child, including the adoption of a newborn or foster child.
2. An employee’s health condition that prevents him or her from performing the function of a job.
3. A sick family member, such as a child, parent or spouse with a serious health condition.
4. Paternity leave, for fathers who wish to take time off to care for their newborn or mother of the child before or after birth.
5. A family member injured in active duty, such as a parent, child or spouse injured during military service.
6. Addiction treatment, for employees who require inpatient treatment away from work.
State law extensions
These are just a handful of situations that qualify for FMLA leave under federal law. Some state laws and/or company policies have expanded qualifying instances-such as authorizing an employee to take time off to care for a sick grandchild or sibling.
Employees wishing to take FMLA leave are encouraged to consult with their employee handbook and an employment law attorney to find out if a specific situation qualifies for FMLA leave under state or federal law.