Can my company deny me paternity leave

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.


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