For eligible employees who are pregnant and are ordered to bed rest, when do they start using FMLA time?

A common misconception is that employees who are eligible for FMLA leave receive 12 weeks of post-birth leave guaranteed.  While that might be true in many, if not most, situations, the truth is that the FMLA covers time off for such things as prenatal care, bed-rest/incapacity related to the pregnancy, and time off for medical complications related to the pregnancy that rise to the level of a serious health condition.  Time taken off for these situations will decrease the 12-week entitlement to FMLA and employers should count it against the entitlement accordingly.  That is not to say that employers need to refuse to allow a new mother the full 12 weeks off post-birth; but whatever time is allowed to be taken over the 12-week entitlement would be under the company’s unpaid leave of absence policy and should not be classified as FMLA.

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.