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Pregnant? Don't forget about FMLA leave

The birth of a child is one of the most exciting, frightening and joyous times in the lives of many Texas residents. Most working parents want to take as much time as they can after their children are born to be with them in the first weeks of their lives. Under FMLA, those parents could get their wish. 

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act allows leave for pregnancies with serious complications. If a doctor determines that an absence from work is needed to protect the mother and the unborn child, FMLA leave would be available. During the first year of a child's life or the first year after an adoption, both men and women may take this leave. Employees may either take the leave intermittently (with an employer's approval) or all at once up to 12 weeks per calendar year.

In order to qualify for FMLA leave, the employer must have at least 50 workers, and the employee must work within 75 miles of the company. Furthermore, an employee must have worked for a minimum of 12 months. Lastly, an employee must have worked a minimum of 1,250 hours during the year prior to requesting leave under FMLA.

FMLA leave is a right for all Texas workers who qualify. Employers must follow certain rules regarding their treatment of employees who make a request to take this type of leave. If an employer takes any action against an employee who lawfully takes this leave, such as termination or some other form of retaliation, it may be beneficial to discuss the matter with an attorney.

Source: fmlaonline.com, "FMLA for pregnancy: Frequently Asked Questions", Accessed on March 6, 2017

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