How much time off is allowed for a surrogate pregnancy?

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How much time off is allowed for a surrogate pregnancy?

I have an employee who is in the process of becoming a surrogate. She is wondering how much time off she will get for it. I have tried looking for the answer and can’t find it. All I can find is the 12 weeks after birth to care for the newborn, but in this case she will not have a newborn. I figure all she will need is the time for her to recover and heal from the delivery and she won’t need to take 12 weeks off? She wants to take the most time off work as she can. So,

how much time off is allowed for a surrogate birth?

Asked on July 18, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You are correct: while an employer is free to offer more time off if it chooses, all that it is required under the law (e.g. FMLA) is 12 weeks unpaid to care for a newborn and/or to recover from a medical condition or procedure (e.g. giving birth). 
That's the law. Practically, say she gets a doctor to say that she needs 12 weeks off--do you really want to challenge that and end up with legal claims against you for sex-based discrimination and/or FMLA retalation, in which, to defend yourself successfully, you'd have to show, with medical testimony/evidence, that she did not need 12 weeks? You may wish to let her have the time on an unpaid basis rather than fight.


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