Ask AF: Adoption Leave

After you adopt, what sort of leave can you expect from your employer?

Q: Is there any law that allows adoptive mothers to take sick days from work after adopting?


A: Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employers are required to allow up to 12 weeks’ leave for specified circumstances, including the adoption of a child. By default, the FMLA leave is unpaid, but employers can require employees to use any accumulated vacation, sick leave, or other paid time off during the FMLA leave. Thus, you cannot, for example, take the full 12-week unpaid FMLA period, then tack on additional vacation time.

The amount of paid time off you can take depends on your employer’s policies. Inquire about adoption leave at your Human Resources department.

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