Employee rights to take off of work for the birth of a child

On Behalf of | Apr 13, 2016 | Employee Rights |

The first year of a child’s life is a very formative time. Many milestones, from the first smile, to the first word, to the child’s first step, are all moments that most parents do not want to miss. In addition, the child’s health and growth during the first year of his or her life can set the stage for the child’s future development. With all this in mind, working parents in Minnesota may wonder whether they can take time off of work to care for their newborn child.


The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) gives employees, under certain circumstances, the ability to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave due to the birth of a child or the adoption of a child. The amount of FMLA allowed may be affected if the employee has other types of paid leave available.

Employees must meet several requirements to enjoy FMLA leave. First of all, the company they work with must have at least 21 employees. In addition, the individual seeking leave must have worked at the company at least half time for one year. Finally, the worker must have been employed with the company for one year of more.

FMLA leave can start within one year of the birth of the child; it does not need to start immediately after the birth of a child. In addition, FMLA leave afforded to employees includes leave for pregnancy-related leave prior to the child’s birth.

After an employee returns to work after taking FMLA leave, he or she must be returned either to his or her previous position, or to one that is similar. Moreover, the employee will also retain the benefits he or she had before taking FMLA leave and will retain the same level of seniority he or she previously had. All of this being said, employers to have the right to develop policies about requesting FMLA leave that are reasonable.

FMLA leave rules may seem fairly straightforward, but in reality they are actually pretty complex. Since this post cannot serve as legal advice regarding any certain employee’s right to FMLA leave, if an employee believes his or her FMLA leave rights or other employee rights were violated, he or she may want to seek legal help to learn more about his or her options.