Can I go on FMLA prior to the birth of my child without a serious health condition?

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Can I go on FMLA prior to the birth of my child without a serious health condition?

I am being told by the company that FMLA prior to the birth of a child has to be related to a serious health condition of the expectant parent or for prenatal care. I am struggling with the legal definition of prenatal care. Since I receive prenatal care, does it mean that I could go on FMLA before the child is born? Is there a law that allows pregnant women to take leave prior to the birth? From what I am learning from the company, a pregnant woman needs to have a health condition or wait till the day of delivery, otherwise she can’t leave work and still receive insurance benefits?

Asked on January 27, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides leave for--

1) the birth of a child and to care for the child after birth; or

2) A serious health condition that makes the employee unable to do his or her job.

Therefore, your company is correct--you may not take FMLA leave before a child's birth unless you have a serious health condition. Routine prenatal care does not qualify for this purpose, unfortunately.


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