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What can FMLA leave be used for?

There are two types of FMLA leave, as described below:

General (12 weeks within a 12-month period) can be taken for: Covered Service Member Leave (26 weeks in a 12-month period) can be taken for:
  • Birth of an employee's child(ren), adoption of a child, or official placement of a child with the employee for foster care (leaves for birth/adoption must be taken within 12 months of the event).
  • A qualifying exigency** due to a call to active duty in the Reserves or National Guard by an employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parents who has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty in the Reserves or National Guard.
  • Care of a son, daughter, spouse, or parent (not parent-in-law) having a serious health** condition*.
  • Incapacity of an employee as a result of a serious health condition. 

* Leave for the care of an adult son or daughter (at least 18 years old) is not covered unless required as a result of "mental or physical disability" as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

**Learn more about what constitutes a qualifying exigency or a serious health condition on the FMLA page Q&A page.

  • Care of a service member who is recovering from a serious illness or injury sustained in the line of duty on active duty and is actively receiving medical treatment.*

* Employee must be the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or nearest blood relative of a covered service member to be eligible.

*Employee must promptly advise their supervisor of the date and probable length of the absence.

Reviewed 2015-12-21