FMLA Leaves for Foster Child Care – Overview
Family is the most important aspect of our lives. Working and taking care of the family are the two most essential responsibilities for adults worldwide. Every corporation adheres to the work conditions and benefits stipulated under the US labor law. You may need to take a leave of absence from work for various important reasons, such as to take care of an ailing spouse, child or dependent family member. Additionally, many employees today seek leaves from work to bond with their adopted kids in the initial stages of the adoption.
The US Wage and Hour Division under the Department of Labor provide 12 weeks’ worth of leaves in case of important work or emergencies through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Under the FMLA, qualifying employees are eligible for job-secured but unpaid leaves for specified family and medical reasons. This act also allows the employee to continue receiving benefits under their group health insurance policy, as per the terms and conditions outlined in the act.
Leaves of Absence under FMLA for Foster Child Care
The FMLA allows eligible employees to take up to 12 work-weeks of leaves within a 12-month period. This leave can be used for the placement of the child with the employee for adoption or foster care. The leave also facilitates bonding with the newly adopted child within a year of placement with the employee.
According to the act, FMLA leaves can be taken before the actual adoption or placement of a child in case the employee needs to take a leave of absence from work for the adoption or placement of the child in foster care.
For instance, an employee is entitled to an FMLA to leave to appear in court, attend counseling sessions, consult with attorneys of the child’s birth parents, undergo a physical examination, or travel abroad to complete the adoption process before the actual date of adoption.
FMLA leaves are also provided to employees with the aim of bonding with the newly-adopted child. These leaves need to be taken in a continuous manner. However, an employee can also choose to take intermittent leaves if the employer agrees.
The FMLA allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of leave for adoption or placement of child into foster care within the first 12 months from the date of placement.
Leaves of Absence under FMLA Act for Other Reasons
Apart from providing up to 12 weeks of leaves in case of adoption or foster care for kids, an employee can also utilize the FMLA leaves for several other reasons, including:
Leave to bond with a newborn child
An employee is eligible for FMLA leave for the birth of their child, or for bonding with the newborn child, within the first 12 months from the child’s date of birth.
The mother and father of the newborn child have the same right of FMLA leave for the birth of a child. Essentially, birth and bonding leaves need to be taken as a continuous block of leave. In case the eligible employee requires intermittent leaves, then it is up to the employer to approve or decline the request.
Leaves of Absence under FMLA for Illnesses
Under the FMLA, if an employee is suffering from a health disorder that prevents the employee to work at all, or prevents the employee from performing the functions needed by their employment position, then they are qualified for leave of absence, as outlined by the act.
The FMLA dictates that an employee who needs to take leaves of absence from work to undergo medical treatment for serious health conditions is considered eligible for the leaves, in case they are unable to carry out the responsibilities required by their position in the company.
Leaves of Absence under FMLA for Caring for Family
The FMLA also offers employees to take up to 12 weeks of leaves in case they need to care for a spouse, child or parent who is suffering from a serious medical condition and needs medical treatment.
For instance, when a spouse, child or parent is unable to take care of their medical, safety or similar needs, because they are suffering from a serious health condition, or if they need assistance to go to a hospital for an appointment then an employee is eligible for leave under FMLA. Additionally, an employee can also avail of FMLA leaves in case they need to provide comfort and reassurance to family members suffering from serious health conditions.
The FMLA act has made it easier for employees to get time off of work to bond with a newly adopted child. The employee can avail of up to 12 weeks of unpaid, but job-secured leaves within a year-long tenure. In addition, the FMLA act also provides eligible employees with leaves of absence for the birth of a newborn child and to take care of an ill family member. Make sure to check with your employer before applying for a leave of absence under the FMLA initiative.