Coming Soon To an Alabama Employer Near You: Alabama Parental Leave!

by Armando Rodriguez, Esq - Product Compliance Counsel, Compliance And Legal Department

& Marti Cardi, Esq. - Vice President, Product Compliance

June 03, 2022

 

Eligible Alabama employees will soon be able to take up to 12 weeks of parental leave to care for and bond with a newborn or newly placed adopted child. Like Delaware’s new family and medical leave insurance law, Alabama’s new parental leave law, “The Adoption Promotion Act,” (Senate Bill 31) borrows heavily from the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). But, unlike Delaware’s law, Alabama’s new law is relatively straight forward.

 

Did you miss our post about the Healthy Delaware Families Act? You can read more about it here.

 

Here's a quick summary of The Adoption Promotion Act:

  • Applies to employers who employ 50 or more employees
  • Employees are eligible if they: (1) have been employed by the employer for at least 12 months; (2) have worked 1250 hours for the employer in the 12 consecutive months prior to using the leave; and (3) work at a worksite with at least 50 employees within 75 miles
  • Eligible employees may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth and care of a newborn, or care and bonding with a newly placed child, which runs concurrently with the FMLA
  • The leave must be taken within the first 12 months of the birth or placement of the child
  • Employees are expected to provide at least 30 days’ notice when the leave is foreseeable
  • Leave may not be taken intermittently unless otherwise agreed to by the employee and employer
  • Employers who provide paid leave to their employees for the birth of a child must also provide paid leave for the purpose of adoption of the same duration, for up to 2 weeks.
    • For example, an employer who provide 6 weeks of paid leave for birth of a child must now provide 2 weeks of paid leave for adoption
    • Conversely, an employer who provides 1 week of paid leave for birth must now provide 1 week of paid leave for adoption
  • Co-employed parents can each take the unpaid leave; an employer is only required to provide the paid leave required by this law to one of those employees
  • Effective July 1, 2022

The law provides that “requests for additional family leave due to the adoption of an ill child or a child with a disability shall be considered on the same basis as comparable cases of complications accompanying the birth of a child of an employee.” This statement is a bit vague and we are hoping for a little more guidance from the state.

Finally, the law specifies that employers are not required to provide employees with leave beyond the 12 weeks mandated by the federal FMLA.

Matrix can help!

Our team of absence management specialists understand the intersection between (and more often than not, the overlap of) state and federal leave laws, and how they interact with any company leave policies and benefits. If you have questions or want more information, reach out to your Matrix or Reliance Standard sales or account manager, or contact us at ping@matrixcos.com!