Your rights to a leave of absence when adopting in Wisconsin

Taking the time to bond with your adopted child is critical to their development as well as your relationship with them. Wisconsin laws recognize this, so typically, parents have a right to have some time off work to welcome their new child.

FMLA leave

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act allow new parents to take up to 12 weeks off work for the birth or adoption of a child. This leave is unpaid, but your employer must protect your job and reinstate you with the same pay and benefits when you get back.

To qualify for FMLA leave, you must have worked for your employer for at least one year and for 1,250 hours over the past 12 months. You also must work at a location with at least 50 employees within 75 miles.

Paid parental leave

Some employers offer paid parental leave as a benefit to their employees. If your employer offers this benefit, you may be able to use it for the time you take off after adopting a child.

State laws on adoption leave

The Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act (WFMLA) provides up to six weeks of leave for parents who adopt a child under 18. You can take this time off all at once or break it into shorter periods, but it must be within the first year of your child’s adoption.

Some other things to keep in mind about taking time off work after adopting a child in Wisconsin include:
• You may need to provide your employer with proof of adoption.
• You may need to give your employer advance notice of your plans to take leave.
• Your employer may require you to use vacation time, personal days or other types of paid time off before taking unpaid leave.
• You may be able to use paid parental leave and WFMLA leave at the same time, but your total leave cannot exceed 12 weeks.

If your employer denies you leave, you may want to file a complaint with the Wisconsin Equal Rights Division. To better your chances of winning your case, keep records of everything related to your request for leave as well as your employer’s response. Reach out to the trusted attorneys at Alan C. Olson & Associates to receive experienced guidance.


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