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What are the rules on parenting leave for small employers?

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in FMLA Guidelines,Human Resources,Maternity Leave Laws

Q. We are a small shop with 15 employees. One of our full-time employees who has been with us for more than five years recently announced that his wife is pregnant. He requested eight weeks’ leave after the baby is born. Are we required to give him this leave?

A. Only if you have adopted a leave policy that contractually gives him the right to this leave. State and federal family leave laws do not apply to an employer of your size.

The federal FMLA applies to employers with 50 or more employees. It provides qualified employees (those who have been employed for at least 12 months, who have worked at least 1,250 hours during the preceding 12 months and who work at a location where there are at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius) up to 12 weeks’ unpaid family leave.

Under Minnesota’s parenting leave law, employers of at least 21 employees must provide new parents up to six weeks’ unpaid leave if the employee has been employed during the preceding 12 months and has worked at least half-time during that period.

Keep in mind, while you may not be required to provide leave to this employee, you are not prohibited from doing so either.

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