The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles an eligible employee to take up to 12 work weeks of job-protected unpaid leave for the birth or placement of a son or daughter, to bond with a newborn or newly placed son or daughter, or to care for a son or daughter with a serious health condition.
The U.S. Department of Labor issued a Fact Sheet clarifying that the “in loco parentis” doctrine applies to siblings who put themselves in the place of caregiver similar to a parent. Prior to this important clarification, FMLA safeguards were believed only to apply to a parent, spouse, or child of an individual with a serious health condition. That interpretation ignored a critical member for millions of American with disabilities – siblings. The reissued guidance clarifies that siblings may take up to 12 work weeks of job-protected unpaid leave under certain circumstances to care for their brother or sister with a serious health condition.