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Kentucky Expands Adoption Leave Protections

Upon written request, every Kentucky employer must grant an employee a reasonable unpaid personal leave, not to exceed six weeks, to receive an adoptive child under the age of seven. Effective June 29, 2021, Kentucky amends its adoption leave law by:

  • Requiring employers to provide the same leave policies to adoptive parents as they provide to birth parents;
  • Requiring employers to provide the same paid leave and benefits to adoptive parents as they provide to birth parents;
  • Changing the applicable age of an adoptive child; and
  • Creating an exemption for specified categories of adoption.

An employer covered under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) must also provide an eligible employee with leave for the placement of a child with the employee for adoption. Where Kentucky law and the FMLA overlap, leave taken should run concurrently.

An employer should consider including an adoption leave policy in its handbook to educate employees, including supervisors, about the availability of adoption leave and to show its compliance with Kentucky law.

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