I don't usually post over here, but I was hoping you guys might be more well versed on FMLA. I'm a teacher, and I'll be taking 4-5 weeks of maternity leave at the end of this school year and 2 weeks at the beginning of next school year - all in all, getting to stay home with baby for the first 4 months.
I have to do 5 weeks of practicum (similar to student teaching) in May/June, and am planning on going back to the first two weeks of school (to get my paras and schedule started) before taking the last two weeks of August off, and then returning full time in September.
My husband works at O'Reilly Auto Parts - they have more than 50 employees and his 1 year anniversary is May 6th. His boss knows that baby will probably be arriving before the 1 year anniversary, and is okay with DH just taking a week off. Then we were planning on DH taking paternity leave Monday-Thursday (still working Friday-Sunday) during my student teaching; and Monday-Friday (still working Saturday-Sunday) for the two weeks that I'm back at work in August.
He hasn't gotten a straight answer from HR yet, but his coworkers are being real jerks about it. They've never had a dad take paternity leave - and he is hearing them say things like "it won't be approved because you're not the mom" and "you won't be able to split the time like that, it has to be consecutive".
Now I know that the first statement he's hearing is false - that FMLA covers the right of the mom AND dad to take up to 12 weeks for the care of a new child within the first year. My question comes with the second comment - I can't find anything that specifies that it has to be taken consecutively. Is an employer allowed to make that determination? Can they deny the second portion of his leave because it isn't consecutive to the first 5 weeks?