If you are considering taking time off to support a family member during or after pregnancy, you could be entitled to unpaid leave. However, this is contingent on whether you and your employer both qualify for the type of leave you intend to take.

Generally speaking, larger companies are bound by a federal law known as the Family and Medical Leave Act. Ohio also has some state-specific laws. Please read on for a brief overview of the subject.

The FMLA is an important labor law that could let you take time off for medical issues in your family. When you come back, you would be entitled to the same position or equivalent one, with some rare exceptions.

The United States Department of Labor specifically states that, if you are a qualifying father, you could be eligible for FMLA leave for the birth of a child or for pregnancy and birth related health issues. Mothers are also eligible for this type of unpaid leave.

One of the major considerations could be the size of your company. Only organizations with 50 or more employees are bound by the FMLA. You may also have a better option available in the form of Ohio’s military leave laws.

These issues are sometimes more complicated than your employer not fully understanding their obligations under the FMLA. Disputes could arise over what constitutes an equivalent position when you come back to work, for example. A request for or absence under this type of leave could also become a catalyst for an array of other unethical employment practices.

If you believed that your employer could be infringing upon your federal or state rights, then it would be important to look at your unique situation from every possible legal angle. Please do not use this as specific advice. It is only general information.