Can my company deny me paternity leave

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can my company deny me paternity leave

I’ve been with my company for over a year now and in that time I called off for a week due to scratching my retina I’m an over the road driver long haul and it’s not safe to drive with one eye I recently took a few days for the flu I don’t go to the doctor for being sick my fiance is having our baby next month are they allowed to deny me time or fire me for taking off a week for the birth of my daughter? My fiance will need help it is just me and her here she has no support from anyone else also we have a two year old who is a handful and has emotional issues no one but her or myself can watch him and even then barely me he has to see her within site most of the time

Asked on September 18, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If your company is large enough to be covered under the FMLA (at least 50 employees located within a 75-mile radius) and you have both worked there at least a year *and* worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months, you may take unpaid leave (up to 12 weeks in a year) for a combination of your medical needs, for the birth of a child, or to care for a spouse (not finance), child of yours, or parent of yours. So if the company is covered and you are eligible, they must let you take unpaid FMLA leave, and if they don't, contact your state or the federal department of labor.
If your company is not covered by FMLA or you did not work enough hours in the past 12 months, you can only take time off if you use paid time off (PTO) you earned or accrued, or if your employer otherwise *voluntarily* agrees to let you take time off. Other than that, if you take time off without using FMLA leave or PTO, or without company prior approval, you may be terminated for unauthorized absence.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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