How do you get an extension on disability/FMLA/Time off for a child born almost 4 months early??

Katrina - posted on 07/12/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )

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My son was born on 5/30 at 24 5/7 weeks. He was 1lb 5oz. My work said I had to take my maternity leave all at once and when he comes home in September (tentatively) I'd have only 2 weeks. There has got to be a way to get an extension. I cant imagine going back to work while he is still in the NICU and not having any time when he comes home?? What have other moms done?

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Maren - posted on 07/13/2012

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I can only speak for california law, but I would imagine the rest of the us would be the same.
You get 6 weeks medical leave after the baby is born then you have up to a year to start FMLA. Is it your boss or HR that is telling you when you have to take it? If it is your boss go to HR and if it is HR contact your state.
Here is the link to the federal FMLA site that gives you the info necessary if HR gives you problems with wanting to postpone when you take your leave:
http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/
I do not believe there is a way to extend the amount of time you get off, as your job is only protected for 12 weeks in a 12 month period.
I can only imagine how difficult this time is for you, and I am sorry you have to go through it. I know for me it would be very difficult to go back to work with a child in the hospital. However, if I had to make the choice between going to work with a child in the hospital and going back once the child came home I would rather take my leave once the child came home. The nurses and doctors are there NOW to take care of your son. The only person to help when he comes home is daycare, and I would NEVER want to send my premie to daycare just after getting released from the hospital.
I hope everything goes well for your son.

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