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Are Fathers Covered For Paternity Leave Under The Family Medical Leave Act?

March 7, 2022

Whether you are a new father or your wife is expecting another child soon, you can spend time with them after the birth without fearing for your job as per the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). If your employer is giving you a hard time regarding those leaves, you should get in touch with Illinois Family Medical Leave Act attorneys and take them to court.

What is the Family and Medical Leave Act?

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), both parents are allowed up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off after the birth or placement of a child. Besides biological parents, it also covers non-birthing parents and same-sex couples. If you are covered, you can take time off without losing your job. If your employer threatens to fire you or terminates your employment, you can sue them for compensation.

However, you can only do that if you are eligible for FMLA benefits. To qualify:

  • The company you work for should have at least 50 employees within 75 miles of your workplace. So if your employer has that many employees, but they are spread across a wider radius, you may not be eligible for FMLA benefits.

  • You must have been employed for 25 hours per week for over 50 weeks.

When Fathers Can Take FMLA Leave

Fathers can take FMLA leave for the following qualifying reasons:

  • An expanding family. This can include the birth of a child and the placement of an adopted or foster child.

  • To care for a seriously injured or ill family member that requires an overnight stay at the hospital. You can also take the leaves to take care of a pregnant spouse. In this case, your employer should extend the leave to 26 weeks.

  • A health condition that prevents you from working.

All in all, if both parents are eligible to take FMLA leave, they can take the designated 12 weeks off. Mothers can also take leave for issues relating to their pregnancy. This includes the first four weeks of the pregnancy and two months after the child is born. Similarly, the father may take his leave to help raise the child.

The leave can only be taken within a year of the child's birth, foster placement, or adoption.

Contact Law Office of Michael T. Smith & Associates

You should be able to work in Illinois without fear of hostility, harassment, or job loss. If your employer is giving you a hard time because you want to take the FMLA benefits you qualify for, get in touch with the Illinois Family Medical Leave Act attorneys at the Law Office of Michael T. Smith & Associates.

Workplace discrimination based on race, religion, age, or any other factor is a punishable offense in Schaumburg, IL, and you have the right to pursue justice. We have years of experience representing clients like you who are treated unfairly by their employers and were fired without valid reasons. Get in touch with us today for a consultation. We will fight for the fair outcome you deserve.