Grandparent leave for military service

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources

Q. One of our employees has a grandson who has just been called for duty in Afghanistan. She wants to take off the week before he ships out to attend a get-together in Orlando with him and other family members. She has no vacation time left, and this is a very busy season for our company. Do we have to let her go?

A. Under Indiana's recently passed Military Family Leave Act (MFLA), your company may be obligated to give the employee the requested time off. If your company has had at least 50 employees for the past seven months, and the employee has worked for you for at least one year and for 1,500 hours in the last 12 months, she is entitled to take leave.

Under the MFLA, your employee may take up to 10 days off work within a calendar year during the 30 days prior to or immediately following a covered family member’s active duty. (Time off during a soldier’s temporary furlough is also protected.) You can request a copy of the grandson’s orders and treat the leave as unexcused if she fails to provide them.

The fact that she is out of vacation time is irrelevant. She is still entitled to take the leave if she otherwise qualifies. Her leave may be unpaid. 

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