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Bed Rest- FMLA/Disability Distinction- NY New York

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  • Bed Rest- FMLA/Disability Distinction- NY New York

    Hello! A close friend of mine is pregnant and due in mid-May. She may be put on bed rest now until she delivers. That is almost exactly 12 weeks. Her HR department is telling her that she must use her FMLA leave for this disability period. I am in HR too and am a bit grey on this particular issue so I wanted to check. From what I understand, bed rest is classified as a disability, and she can go out with it classified that way only, not as FMLA, and then elect to have her FMLA leave start after her daughter is born in May. Both leaves would then be protected under ADA and then FMLA. Please correct me if I'm wrong, and if possible, give me advice to give to my friend. She obviously will need more than the standard 6-8 weeks afforded by the "disability" of childbirth, especially if her daughter is a preemie.

  • #2
    FMLA provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave with job protection. Disability insurance is one way that someone will receive some income while they are on what would otherwise be unpaid leave; it's not another form of leave that's in addition to FMLA. Your friend's HR department is correct in stating that her FMLA leave begins now that she is on bedrest. Unfortunately, as 12 weeks is the maximum for FMLA, it sometimes happens that there are some circumstances where the need for leave exceeds the 12 weeks.
    Last edited by Marketeer; 03-17-2015, 09:12 AM.
    I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!


    • #3
      You are wrong. FMLA starts as soon as the employee is medically incapacitated from working due to a qualifying health condition. You only get 12 weeks per year, not 12 weeks per condition. If the employee goes out now, the FMLA clock starts now. She may qualify for STD, or salary continuation of some kind but that is totally separate from FMLA/leave. It is unlikely that ADA plays a role at all here, but if it does, it doesn't necessarily guarantee more leave.
      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


      • #4
        Agree, 12 weeks FMLA starts when she goes on bed rest. 12 weeks is the only job protected leave she gets. If she needs more than 12 weeks & if the employer would extend leave for an employee who is out on disability leave for something other than pregnancy, they should extend it for her also. It would not be protected leave though. She just can't be discriminated against due to her pregnancy.

        Disability income provides income while out on unpaid disability leave.
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