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FMLA and Serious Health Condition for A Spouse

From the HR Experts and UNICO HR Solutions:

Question- How do we certify a serious health condition for a spouse who is pregnant and not our employee when the husband seeks leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

Answer- An employer may require that the need for leave for a serious health condition of the employee or the employee’s immediate family member be supported by a certification issued by a health care provider.

Both the mother and father are entitled to Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave for the birth of their child and to be with the healthy newborn child (i.e., bonding time) during the 12-month period beginning on the date of birth.

A husband and wife who are eligible for FMLA leave and are employed by the same covered employer may be limited to a combined total of 12 weeks of leave during any 12-month period if the leave is taken for birth of the employee’s son or daughter or to care for the child after birth, for placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care or to care for the child after placement, or to care for the employee’s parent with a serious health condition. This limitation on the total weeks of leave applies to leave taken for the reasons specified as long as a husband and wife are employed by the same employer.

The husband is also entitled to FMLA leave if he is needed to care for his pregnant spouse who may be incapacitated or in need of care during her prenatal or postnatal phase if the spouse has a serious health condition.

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