For one listener, when it rains, it pours. I’m Amy E. Feldman.
Listener Joanne K. had already received approval for the Family and Medical Leave Act time off she needed to take her disabled husband to his doctor’s appointments when Joanne herself was diagnosed with cancer. She wants to know if she is entitled to another leave period for herself, separate from her husband, or if she has to split the one leave between her husband’s care and her own.
Joanne, under the FMLA, an eligible employee is entitled to twelve workweeks of leave in a twelve-month period, regardless of the number of reasons for the leave; it’s not a separate twelve weeks of leave for each person who needs care. That said, that’s the minimum the law requires; a company always has the right to offer more time if it chooses, so talk to your HR department to see if they can help during what is no doubt an unbelievably trying time for you.