Governor Signs Adoption Promotion Act into Law

Recently, Gov. Ivey signed Senate Bill 31, the “Adoption Promotion Act,” into law. The act, which takes effect July 1, 2022, allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of parental leave to care for and bond with a newborn or newly placed adopted child.

The act applies to covered employers and eligible employees under the FMLA. Accordingly, employers who employ 50 or more employees within 75 miles must comply. Employees are eligible after having been employed by the employer for at least 12 months and having worked 1250 hours in the 12 consecutive months prior to using the leave.

The leave must be taken within the first 12 months of the birth or placement of the child. Employees are expected to provide at least 30 days advance notice prior to taking the leave unless the leave is unforeseeable (in which case, notice should be provided as soon as practicable). Intermittent leave is permitted if agreed upon by the employer and employee.

Additionally, if the employer provides paid leave for birth and care of a child, the employer must provide equivalent paid leave for adoption for a period of two weeks or the duration of the employer’s paid leave, whichever is less. If both adoptive parents work for the same employer, the employer is only required to provide paid leave to one employee.

Employers must consider requests for additional family leave due to the adoption of an ill or disabled child on the same basis as they would for the birth of a biological child to an employee. However, employers are not required to provide leave beyond the employee’s FMLA entitlement.

Employers and their human resources staff should be aware of the new law and update their leave policies and procedures accordingly.

Adoption Promotion Act »