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Question: We have a situation where two siblings we employ are requesting time off. One has a serious health condition and the other needs to care for the ill sibling; are they each eligible to take 12 weeks of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave?

Answer: Each employee is entitled to a separate 12-week entitlement (assuming they each meet general Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) eligibility requirements).

Typically, the only time that an employer may combine leave for family members to result in 12 total weeks of leave between them is when the family members are a married couple. Even in this case, the leave may only be limited to 12 weeks combined if the leave is for:

  • The birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child.
  • To care for the employee’s parent with a serious health condition.