An employee wants to take paternity leave in blocks of four (4) weeks at a time spread out over time after his wife has a baby. Can I say no?
This sounds like something that a new father might be entitled to, right - taking twelve (12) weeks off after the birth of the child? For larger employers covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) a lot of new fathers (and some new mothers, too) will ask to spread their twelve (12) week entitlement out over a greater period time – e.g. taking the twelve (12) weeks in two six (6) week blocks over a six (6) month period. Sometimes new parents do this so they can maximize their time staying home with the baby. Sometimes it's because one of them wants to stay home for a few weeks with the baby, come back to work and then go deer hunting a few months later, but has no paid time off left. Sometimes it’s because of day care scheduling problems.
Whatever the reason, employers may require that new parents take their FMLA entitlement leave in a single block of time. Can an employer grant the employee a request to take parental leave in smaller increments? Sure, but an employee is not entitled to incremental or intermittent leave under the FMLA because of the birth of his or her son or daughter.
Thompson Coe’s Tips of the Week are not intended as a solicitation, do not constitute legal advice and do not establish an attorney-client relationship.