How to Apply for FMLA Parental Leave in Arizona

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How to Request Parental Leave in Arizona

One of the challenges of having a child is being able to afford to take to bond with your newborn. Understanding your rights regarding is important. It can help you come to a good agreement with your employer to take the leave you need and keep your job.

DoNotPay can help you with your rights under the FMLA in most states, including:

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Who is Eligible for Parental Leave in Arizona?

Arizona offers no protected parental leave to parents, including to birth parents. Arizonans are at the mercy of their employers when it comes to any kind of parental leave. The only protection available is under the Family and Medical Leave Act, which provides only for unpaid leave, but can still protect your job.

Paid Parental Leave in Arizona

As you might already have realized, there is no paid parental leave system or requirement in Arizona. Parents will need to use their accrued sick days and vacation time to take leave or resort to unpaid FMLA leave.

What is the FMLA?

At the federal level, the Family and Medical Leave Act provides some protection to employees. However, it covers only employees who have been in that job for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours. It also only covers employers with at least 50 employees as well as public agencies and elementary and secondary schools.

Under the FMLA, employees are eligible for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year without losing their job or health benefits. Employers must return the employee to their original position or to one which is roughly equivalent with the same pay.

This unpaid leave is available to anyone who is adopting a child or welcoming a newborn and may be taken within one year of the birth or adoption. While this unpaid leave is not ideal it is at least something to help you take time to care for your child.

How to Apply For FMLA

Arizona has no specific requirements for applying for FMLA leave. However, if you are having difficulties with your employer, you can contact the Arizona Department of Labor or the US Department of Labor's Phoenix District Office at:

U.S. Department of Labor, Wage & Hour Division

230 N. First Avenue, Suite 402

Phoenix AZ 85003-1725

You can also contact them by phone: 602-514-7100.

You must notify your employee at least 30 days before you are requesting parental leave. Your employer must notify you that you are eligible for FMLA leave within five business days of your request. For pregnancy complications your employer may request medical certification that is to say a doctor's note. Some employers might try to request a doctor's note for routine pregnancies or even adoptions as an excuse to try and deny FMLA leave. You do not have to share any specific medical diagnosis.

How to Request Parental Leave on Your Own

If you are requesting parental leave you will need to talk to your employer's HR department. FMLA leave does not necessarily exempt you from their protocols for requesting leave.

  1. Gather any documentation to support your request. This might include a doctor's note given the approximate due date, adoption paperwork etc. Your employer does not need to know any medical diagnosis, but may reasonably request evidence of the arrival of a child.
  2. Follow your employer's procedures for requesting FMLA leave, if they have any, including filling out any forms. If your employer does not have these procedures, you will need to put together a letter explaining why you are requesting leave, when you will be requesting that leave, and referring to the FMLA.
  3. For pregnancy-related concerns talk to your doctor about medical certification in case your employer asks for it.

Your employer may question your eligibility for leave, so be ready to advocate for yourself and make sure you are actually eligible. With parental leave you may not be eligible until closer to the child's arrival. Be ready to point this out if needed.

If your employer does attempt to deny you leave, things can become much more complicated and expensive.

Next Steps for Requesting Parental Leave in Arizona if You Can't Do it Yourself

Perhaps your employer is refusing you leave you are eligible for. Or, they are disorganized and don't have a plan. Especially in the former case, you will need help filing a FMLA claim.

Typically this means getting an employment lawyer, which is expensive (at a time when you have many other costs) and time consuming. Filing complaints with the DoL is cheaper, but can also be hugely tedious. The entire thing can negatively impact your relationship with your employer.

Some people may also have to resort to complaints and legal action if their employer refuses to give them their job, or a reasonable equivalent, when they return.

Request Parental Leave in Arizona With the Help of DoNotPay

The ideal solution is DoNotPay. Cheaper than traditional legal help, DoNotPay makes requesting parental leave fast and easy and increases your chance of success the first time.

If you want to request parental leave but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 6 easy steps:

  1. Tell us which state you work in (if you work in CA, NY, NJ, MA, WA, or DC, your state has a paid family leave program).

  2. Choose whether you want us to apply to the program for you or contact your employer with your leave request. If you want to apply for the program, we will walk you through the questions on the form and mail the application form for you.

  3. If you want us to contact your employer, enter your leave details, including the starting date, number of weeks of leave, and how many weeks of paid leave you are requesting (for example, you may take a 12 week leave, but only request 8 weeks of paid leave to make the request reasonable).

  4. Indicate whether you are the birth parent or not (birth parents have a few additional legal protections).

  5. Enter the name of your company and the person to address this request to.

  6. Select whether you want us to email the request to your employer on your behalf.

Why Use DoNotPay to Request Parental Leave in Arizona?

Using DoNotPay to request parental leave in Arizona can make a huge difference. We can help you avoid conflict with your employer or having to hire an expensive lawyer.

With DoNotPay, it is much more straightforward and less annoying, not to mention having a much higher chance of success by ensuring that you make your request correctly the first time.

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

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