When can I take leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act?

The Family and Medical Leave Act provides for 12 administrative workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for:

• birth of a son or daughter and care of newborn (within one year after birth);
• placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care (within one year after placement);
• care for a spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a serious health condition; or
• a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the duties of his or her position.
In addition, under separate authority, federal employees may take FMLA leave to provide care for injured members of the Armed Forces or certain veterans under some circumstances.

To be eligible, employees must have completed at least one year of civilian service with the government.

Temporary and intermittent employees are excluded.When the leave is being requested for a serious health condition, or to care for a seriously ill child, spouse or parent, the leave may be taken intermittently or on a reduced work schedule without the agency’s approval. An employee is expected to make a reasonable effort to schedule treatment, subject to the approval of the health provider, so as not to disrupt unduly the operations of the agency.

Paid sick leave and/or annual leave also may be available for these purposes.


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