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Texas Intermittent Baby Bonding Leave


Posted by Tamara

Are Texas employees permitted under Texas state law to take intermittent family leave? This is a question that perplexes many employees in the state.

The answer is, it depends. There are no state laws on Texas’ books that cover family leave, so it comes under the jurisdiction of the federal FMLA, the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Under FMLA, eligible employees are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for certain medical and personal scenarios. An employee is entitled to take family leave to care for and bond with a newborn within the first year of life, a newly adopted child or a foster child under 18 who has recently been brought into the home.

FMLA does not require an employer to grant intermittent leave for a new parent to bond with a child. The law provides intermittent leave only for a serious health condition when there’s a medical necessity for the intermittent leave.

FMLA contains no legal mandates for granting a new parent intermittent family leave to bond with a child.

It is legal, however, for an employer to grant intermittent leave if both parties can agree on a mutually satisfying schedule. The employer, however, is not legally required to grant the leave on an intermittent basis and can require that such leave be continuous.

Suppose Marie adopted a baby and wants to take a few of weeks of continuous leave to care for and bond with the child. When she returns to work, she wants to come back to the same position and use intermittent leave to work part-time. Her employer refuses.

Marie argues that FMLA guarantees her job and her employer is in violation of the law. She’s incorrect. FMLA was designed to protect the employee, but not at the expense of the employer. The law requires her employer to provide Marie with either her old job or with a job that has comparable benefits, wages, and working conditions, including the number of hours she works. The employer can legally refuse her request for intermittent leave and is permitted to insist she remain on FMLA leave continuously or return to her normal work schedule.

 

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