Combined FMLA Leave for Same Employer Spouses
Under 29 CFR 201(b), married couples who are employed by the same employer can be required to share a combined 12 weeks of FMLA leave to:
- bond with their new child; or
- care for their own parent with a serious health condition.
The regulation states:
“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 provision does not seem fair to married couples as none of the above applies to unmarried couples. The Department of Labor (DOL) did not intend for this, but rather intended to encourage employers to hire married couples, thereby reducing the burden on those employers if their married employees decided to have children.
Hmmm, that’s a head scratcher…
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