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Louisiana Intermittent Family Leave


Posted by Tamara

There is some confusion among Louisiana employees about their rights to take intermittent family leave for baby bonding or to care for a newborn. Employers, too, are confused and ask, “Under what conditions is a Louisiana employer required by law to grant intermittent family leave to a new parent?”

The answer is none. Louisiana has not established family leave laws at the state level. Guidelines for family leave for Louisiana employers and employees come under the jurisdiction of the federal FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act).

Under FMLA, employees are allowed to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for serious medical conditions (for themselves, a parent, a child or for a spouse). Employees can also take FMLA leave to bond with a newborn, a newly adopted infant, or a child newly fostered into the home. In the majority of scenarios, FMLA leave to bond with the new child, whether it’s 2 weeks or 12 weeks, is taken continuously.

There is one exception. In the case of a serious health condition, the employer is required to grant intermittent family leave when it is medically necessary. Currently, this is the only situation under FMLA that mandates employers to grant intermittent family leave.

So, what if a new parent wants to take intermittent family leave to bond with a child?

Their options are limited to the discretion of their employers. A company can legally grant this type of leave, if the employer and the employee can agree on a schedule. It is completely up to the individual company.

For example, Madison and her husband adopted an infant. She wants to take 4 weeks of continuous FMLA leave, and then use the remaining weeks to return to work on a part time basis. Her employer grants the request, but with the stipulation that Madison splits her 12 weeks in half: 6 weeks continuous and 6 weeks as intermittent. This schedule is agreeable to Madison, so the leave is granted.

Madison’s employer wasn’t legally obligated to grant the intermittent leave, and would have been within her rights to insist that all of the leave be continuous.

 

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