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Can you get more than 12 weeks of FMLA leave?

Your employer honors Family and Medical Leave Act leave, but you worry you may need more than the standard 12 weeks away. What options do you have for extending your leave?

Chon explores circumstances in which employees may extend their FMLA leave. Protect your rights and your job by understanding how the law works.

Using 12 weeks of leave

Under the FMLA, you may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for medical or family reasons. You decide whether you take those 12 weeks all at once or in increments. Your employer may let you take off over 12 weeks, but the FMLA does not cover that extra time. If your company agrees to give you more time off, get it in writing and signed. You may also want your employer to agree to give you the same position and pay, or something similar when you return.

Filing an FMLA leave extension

FMLA leave extension forms do not exist, but company policy may allow you to take additional time off. While on FMLA leave, keep your employer in the loop. That way, if it looks like you need over 12 weeks off, you may work together on the matter.

Notifying your employer about your leave

If you must take off for a family or medical emergency under FMLA, let your company know at least 30 days before you take time off. Examples of leave covered under the act include placing a child from foster care or adoption, taking care of a newborn baby and tending to an immediate family member with a serious medical condition. You may only take off 12 weeks for every reason combined.

By understanding all facets of FMLA leave, you know how to go on leave the right way.

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