Valerie has worked full time for a local hospital since December 2012. In January 2014, Valerie takes six weeks FMLA leave following the birth of her baby. In April 2014, Valerie gives the hospital notice that she will need additional FMLA leave this calendar year after she adopts her twelve-year old niece.
Which of the following statements is correct?
A. The hospital does not need to grant Valerie any more FMLA leave because she is adopting a family member.
B. The hospital must grant Valerie an additional twelve weeks of FMLA leave for the adoption since childbirth and adoption are separate qualifying conditions under the FMLA.
C. The hospital must grant Valerie up to an additional six weeks of FMLA leave only if the niece she adopts has a serious health condition.
D. The hospital must grant Valerie up to an additional six weeks of FMLA leave following the adoption.
The correct answer is “D.” The FMLA provides up to twelve weeks of protected leave to a new parent to care for a new baby and newly adopted child. Under the FMLA, adoption is the legal and permanent assumption of the responsibility of raising a child on one’s own. The source or age of the adoptee is irrelevant in determining FMLA eligibility. The newly adopted child does not have to have a serious health condition for the covered parent to qualify for adoption leave.
The twelve-week period for which leave is authorized expires twelve months from the date the child is born or, in the case of adoption, twelve months from the date the child is first placed with the parent. Although Valerie is entitled to take FMLA leave for both the birth and adoption, twelve weeks combined for both qualified events is the maximum amount of leave permitted under the FMLA for the designated twelve-month period.Photo Courtesy of Gabi Menashe on Flickr