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All parents may be eligible for FMLA leave

Mothers in Pennsylvania and elsewhere may be entitled to take FMLA leave during a pregnancy or after giving birth. However, fathers are also generally entitled to take the same unpaid leave to care for a newborn child or the child's mother. Eligible fathers may take FMLA leave even if the mother also takes leave. Those who work for covered employers are eligible for such time off.

A covered employer in the private sector is one that has 50 or more employees for more than 20 weeks in the past calendar year. Those who work in elementary or secondary schools are exempt no matter how many employees the school has. The same is true for those who work for government agencies. The employee must work for 1,250 hours over a 12-month period to be eligible to take FMLA leave. According to the National Compensation Survey (NCS), 14 percent of civilian workers had access to paid family leave.

Those most likely to have it work in the finance or insurance fields as well as in scientific or technical jobs. As a general rule, a person is more likely to have paid family leave if he or she works in a profession that demands a high level of education and specialized skills. Research has shown that there may be a link between paid leave and a smaller gender wage gap.

Those who choose to take medical leave under the FMLA may generally return to their jobs after their leave is over free from retaliation. Retaliation may include a demotion, a pay cut or reinstatement to a job that isn't similar to the one a person had prior to the leave. An attorney may review a case and attempt to help an individual preserve his or her rights.

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