Can I take a medical leave of absence for the summer months to care for my mentally ill child?

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Can I take a medical leave of absence for the summer months to care for my mentally ill child?

My 10 year old son has depression and anxiety and cannot be alone for the summer. He is also too old for day cares and I have no one else to watch him. He is on medication and sees a psychologist and psychiatrist to treat him. Can I take a medical leave for 12 weeks? I have worked at my current job for 4 years.

Asked on April 29, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You probably do not have grounds to take medical leave: it  is unlikely that your son's depression and anxiety would meet the criteria for a sufficiently serious condition so as to entitle you to guaranteed leave under the Family Medical Leave Act  (FMLA) or similar state law. That said, every case is different; for  a more definitive answer, you'd need to consult in detail with an employment law attorny.

Also, unless your employer has at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius, the employer would not be subject to FMLA. You may need to look into other summer care options, such as camps or summer school.

Finally, be advised that even if you did qualify for FMLA, FMLA leave is unpaid--you might be better off paying even a premium for camp, etc. than having no income for those months.

 


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