Can I ask an employee who is expecting an adopted child when she plans on taking leave and for how long?

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Can I ask an employee who is expecting an adopted child when she plans on taking leave and for how long?

I have a 3 person company and my office manager is expecting an adopted child sometime relatively soon. Can I ask her what her anticipated departure date will be? How Long? And will she be returning to work? The business is a non-profit.

Asked on November 2, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can ask this, especially if she has already made you aware that she is going to be adopting (i.e. she's already brought it up).

Note that as a 3-person company, you are not subject to the Family and Medical Leave Act , and do not need to grant her up to 3 months of leave while holding her job for her; you are certainly free to do this, if  you like, but you are not required to. Therefore, if she leaves, under federal law, you do not have to hold a position for her or allow her to return. You do not indicate which state you are writing from; you also need to check your state law, since some states provide greater benefits than federal law does. Also, if you have an employment agreement with her governing maternity leave, you need to abide by the terms of that agreement.


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