Q. One of our employees has a 16-year-old daughter who lives with her and is going to have a baby. The grandmother-to-be wants 12 weeks ofto care for the daughter and bond with the grandchild. Is leave available for her? She says she will be co-parenting the infant. Is she basically in loco parentis to the baby and, therefore, eligible? — T.K., Texas
A. If she is truly in loco parentis (that is, assuming the obligations of a parent without the legal formalities of an adoption), then, yes, she would be entitled to up to 12 weeks of leave to bond with the grandchild. If you question the employee’s intentions, you may require that she provide reasonable documentation or a statement of the family relationship.
Because whether the grandmother is acting as a substitute parent is a fact-driven matter, you may want to contact your attorney and get his or her opinion on whether FMLA child-rearing leave is available under the specific circumstances. (For more on the FMLA’s definition of “son or daughter,” see the June 22 alert at www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/whd.)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Pregnancy: Run disability leave concurrent with FMLA?
- Does Minnesota law let workers take time off for their children's school activities?
- Worker not returning from FMLA leave? Terminate, but pay benefits for full 12 weeks
- Beware schedule changes when employee returns after FMLA leave