If you are expecting a baby, you probably have a long list of things you need to do to prepare. If you are currently working, you will want to prepare to request leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or New York State Paid Family Leave (PFL).
Marking important dates
Not all employees are eligible for leave under the FMLA or PFL. If you are planning to take time off from work, it’s important to plan ahead and notify your employer of the dates you expect to be out to make sure that there are no issues when the time comes to take your leave.
Some things employees should consider well before they plan to take parental leave are:
- The date you started working for your current employer
- Whether your employer requested a medical certification (if so, you have 15 calendar days to return it after receiving the request as under the FMLA )
- Whether you plan to take leave all at once or in increments
- How long you expect your leave to last
- When you expect your leave to begin (if possible, submit your request for leave at least 30- day in advance notice)
Early communication with your employer and staying on top of any deadlines can help ensure that your request and eligibility are on track.
Retaining important documents
Keep track of all communications and documentation related to your family leave requests. This can include text messages, voicemails, and emails between you and your employer, as well as copies of any information you have submitted related to your leave.
These documents can help clarify any confusion and establish your credibility if your employer wrongfully denies leave or retaliates against you for taking leave.
Making sure you’re ready
While you are preparing your home and car for the arrival of your baby, it is also crucial to make sure you are prepared for your leave.
Check with your employer to ensure they approved your request. If they didn’t, follow up immediately or consider speaking with an attorney if you believe your request was wrongfully denied. Make sure you understand whether all benefits and wages you should receive during your leave will continue. Additionally, you should confirm whether your leave is paid or unpaid and plan your finances accordingly.
If any obstacles or conflicts arise regarding your rights to protected leave, seeking legal guidance as soon as possible can help you resolve those issues appropriately.