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Pennsylvania FMLA

Public-Sector Employers

State employees are not covered under the FMLA. Pennsylvania law states that officials and employees under the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have sovereign immunity from FMLA. State employees are not permitted to take legal action against the state under FMLA. There are certain situations where the state has granted state employees leave.

Birth of Child

State employees are granted temporary leave for pregnancy or childbirth. The employer has the discretion to extend maternity leave beyond the period of disability, but may not pay sick leave or disability compensation.
If the mother must breastfeed her child for medical reasons, leave may be extended.

All Employers

If private or public employers offer childrearing leave, they must do so for both male and female parents, whether biological or adoptive.

Philadelphia Employers

All employers within the city of Philadelphiamust provide unpaid leave if an employee or an employee's family or household member has been a victim of domestic or sexual violence.

  • Employers with 50 or more employees must grant up to 8 workweeks of leave during any 12-month period.
  • Employers with less than 50 employees must grant up to 4 workweeks of leave during any 12-month period.

Family or household member is defined as a spouse or ex-spouse, persons living as spouses or who lived as spouses, a parent, a child, others related by affinity, current or former sexual or intimate partners, or life partners.

Circumstances that permit leave in cases of domestic or sexual violence

If the employee or household member needs:

  • Medical attention for physical or psychological reasons.
  • Aid from a victim services organization.
  • Psychological or other counseling.
  • Legal assistance or remedies for protection of his or her safety.

Leave can be intermittent or a reduction in work schedule. Employees must provide 48 hours of notice to the employer for this type of leave unless it is not practicable.

A combined total of 12 weeks of leave is the maximum leave an employee can take under this city ordinance and the FMLA. If an employee takes 9 weeks of leave under FMLA and later requires leave for domestic or sexual abuse, they are only entitled to 3 more weeks of leave for the rest of the 12-month period.

Pennsylvania laws on family leave

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