Adoptive Leave Lawyers

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Most Common Employment Law Issues:

Can I Take Leave Work Under the FMLA to Be With My Adopted Child?

Yes.  Under the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) an eligible employee may take time off from work for the birth and care of their newborn child.  This also holds true for the placement of an adopted or foster child with an eligible employee.  However, only the primary caregiver of an adopted child may take adoption leave under federal law.  It is up to you, the adoptive parents, to decide who the primary caregiver will be. However, who may take leave differs under state laws such as Massachusetts' adoptive leave law.

When does the Adoptive Leave start?

Under the FMLA, your right to take adoptive leave occurs when the child is placed with you.  That means you do not need to wait until the adoption has been finalized before you can take leave, as this may take a much longer period of time.

When Must I give my Employer Notice?

If the necessity for leave is foreseeable based on an expected placement date, you must provide your employer with at least 30 days notice before the leave is to begin.  However, if the placement requires your leave to commence in less than 30 days, you must provide as much notice as is practicable.  

Typically, if you are unable to give 30 days notice, whatever notice is given to you by Social Services, your adoption agency, or the birth parents, must also be given to your employer.  You should also provide your employer with 30 days notice of the expected date of your return.  An employer is not required to allow your return to work until such notice has been received.

Should I Speak with an Attorney Regarding Adoptive Leave?

If you have been denied FMLA leave to be with your adopted child you should speak with an experienced employment law attorney to recover any damages or equitable relief.  Remember, it is illegal for your employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny your right to take leave to be with an adopted child. 

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Last Modified: 11-17-2015 04:58 PM PST

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