FMLA Guidelines: Qualifying Events

An employee can be absent from work for up to 12 weeks in an FMLA benefit year for the following events:

  • Birth of the employee’s child, and to care for the employee’s newborn child (The 12 weeks of FMLA eligibility must be completed within one year of the birth.).
  • Placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care, and to care for the employee’s newly adopted child or a child newly placed in the foster care of the employee (The 12 weeks of FMLA eligibility must be completed within one year of the date of placement.).

The child must be under the age of 18, or 18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care due to a physical or mental disability.

  • To care for the employee’s family member with a serious health condition.

The need to care for a family member involves both physical and psychological care, including assistance with basic medical, hygienic, nutritional, safety and transportation needs, or the provision of psychological comfort.

  • The employee’s serious health condition.
  • To address a qualifying exigency that exists because the employee’s spouse, child or parent is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty status in the armed forces in support of a contingency operation.

Applies to members of the Reserves, National Guard, and retired members of the Regular Armed Forces or Reserves.  Does not apply to a member of the Regular Armed Forces.

An employee can be absent from work for up to 26 weeks in an FMLA benefit year for the following event:

  • To care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness incurred on active duty who is a spouse, parent, child or next of kin of the employee.