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Alabama Intermittent Family Leave

Posted by Tamara

In Alabama, new mothers will often want to take family leave to bond with a newborn child, but instead of returning to work full time, want to continue using family leave to work part-time. Alabama employers are not legally obligated to agree to this arrangement. In fact, Alabama has no family leave laws at the state level, so this type of leave comes under federal jurisdiction, specifically the jurisdiction of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

The federal FMLA allows eligible Alabama employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for a number of medical and personal reasons. These reasons include time for a new parent to bond with a newborn, a newly adopted baby or a child newly fostered into the home.

This leave is intended to be taken continuously. There is nothing within this law that requires employers to grant intermittent family leave for baby bonding or to care for a newborn.

Consider Grace, an Alabama employee who adopted an infant in April. She wants to take 12 weeks of FMLA leave to bond with her baby. FMLA guarantees that when she returns to work, she will return either to the same job or to a job with the same salary, working conditions and benefits.

Grace decides that rather than taking all 12 weeks continuously, she would like to use 8 weeks at home, and the remaining 4 weeks to return to work part time under FMLA leave. Her employer is under no legal obligation to agree to this arrangement. In fact, her employer has every right to insist she remain on FMLA for the entire 12 weeks.

FMLA only requires employers to grant intermittent leave when it is medically necessary for a serious health condition.

So, what are the options for intermittent family leave for a new parent?Legally, there are zero. Granting this type of leave is entirely up to the discretion of the individual employer. Companies can legally grant the leave, but are not required to do so. In many cases, companies will grant this type of leave if they and the employees can agree on a mutually satisfying schedule.


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