Q & A Session – FMLA in Regards to Childbirth


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


I will be having my first child and becoming a father soon. Can I use FMLA intermittently? It looks like from the Department of Labor information I found, you may but it is subject to the employer’s approval.

I requested to use one week of leave when the baby is born and eight additional weeks a couple of months later. I also requested an additional week months following that for my child’s first birthday. I was told they may not allow it because I must use all of the leave at once unless I have doctor appointments or a medical condition. Is this true?


Under 29 CFR § 825.202 ©, FMLA does not generally require an employer to authorize intermittent leave in relation to child birth. However, an employer may agree to do so voluntarily.

Also, if your child has a medical condition which requires additional care, you may be able to use leave in relation to that condition. Events like a first birthday are not covered under FMLA, but you could take annual leave for that event. 

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.

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