FMLA - unmarried couple

We have an unmarried couple that is having a child. Does the 12 weeks of leave to care for a newborn still need to be split between the two employees, or does their unmarried status allow them each the 12 weeks of FMLA leave for a newborn?

Thanks in advance for any reply.


  • 2 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I believe FMLA regs only pertain to married couples for the combining of leave, so unmarried couples would each get 12 weeks. But, I must say, I'm not positive on that.

    Does your state have an FMLA law?
  • In its Administrator Interpretation #2010-3 (June 22, 2010), DOL notes that “where an employee provides day-to-day care for his or her unmarried partner’s child (with whom there is no legal or biological relationship), but does not financially support the child, the employee could be considered to stand in loco parentis to the child and, therefore, be entitled to FMLA leave to care for the child if the child had a serious health condition.”

    DOL has stated that the same principles apply to leave for the birth of a child and to bond with a
    child within the first 12 months following birth or placement. According to DOL, an employee who will
    share equally in raising a child with the child’s biological parent would be entitled to leave for the
    child’s birth because he or she will stand in loco parentis to the child.

    The limits on married couples working for the same employer do not appear to apply to unmarried couples, so it is reasonable to assume that each person would be entitled to the 12 weeks of leave.
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