In accordance with the West Virginia Parental Leave Act (PLA), an employee hired for permanent employment, who has worked for at least twelve consecutive weeks performing services for remuneration, shall be entitled to a total of at least twelve calendar weeks of unpaid family leave following the exhaustion of all his/her annual and sick leave during any twelve month period for the following reasons.
· Birth of a son or daughter of the employee
· Placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption
· To care for the employee=s son, daughter, spouse, parent or dependent who has a serious health condition
In case of a son, daughter, spouse, parent or dependent who has a serious health condition, such family leave may be taken intermittently when medically necessary. A serious health condition is defined as any physical or mental illness, injury or impairment which involves (1) inpatient care in a hospital, hospice or residential health care facility, or (2) continuing treatment, health care or continuing supervision by a health care provider.
If an employee requests family leave to care for a designated family member with a serious health condition, the employer may require the employee to provide certification by a health care provider of the family member=s serious health condition.
If a leave because of birth or adoption is foreseeable, the employee shall provide the employer with two weeks written notice of such expected birth or adoption.
If a leave under this section is foreseeable because of planned medical treatment or supervision, the employee shall: (1) make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment or supervision so as to not unduly disrupt the operations of the employer, subject to the approval of the health care provider of the employee=s son, daughter, parent or dependent; and (2) provide the employer with two weeks written notice of the treatment or supervision.
The position held by the employee immediately before the leave is commenced shall be held for the employee and the employee shall be returned to that position provided that such leave does not exceed twelve calendar weeks.
An employee may also be covered under the Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993. The FMLA mandates that a qualifying employee be eligible for a total of twelve work weeks of unpaid leave during any consecutive twelve month period. FMLA leave may be for one or more of the following:
· Birth of a child of the employee, in order to care for such child
· Placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care
· Care of a seriously ill child, partner or parent of the employee
· The employee=s own serious illness which causes the employee to be unable to perform the functions of his/her position
Contact the Office of Human Resources regarding the Parental Leave Act (http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/21/masterfrmFrm.htmor) and the FMLA (http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/fmla/).