It comes to a woman’s life that she bears a child and if you are already expecting one soon then it is likely that you already have lots of things in your mind. Medical appointments, child care plans, baby stuff, and many others keep your mind occupied. For mothers or mothers-to-be who are working, having a pregnancy leave is very important. A pregnant woman can file for a leave before she gives birth until a few months after the birth of her child so that she can also bond with the child. The pregnancy leave will depend not only on the employer’s policy but also the federal and state law governing your area.
Two federal laws give you the right to take your pregnancy leave and these are the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Family Medical Leave Act.
• Pregnancy Discrimination Act – This act does not give the pregnant employees to take a pregnancy leave but it helps the pregnant women to be treated fairly or to have some sort of modification on their workplace because they are temporarily unable to work just like what they used to. It also helps pregnant women to be treated in the same way as those who become temporarily disabled depending on the policies of your employer. For example, an employee who suffered from a heart attack is given the choice to take a month of unpaid leave, then the pregnant employee should also be given that choice too.
• Family And Medical Leave Act – With this law, pregnant women can take up to 12 weeks off because of their pregnancy. The FMLA leave can be used in cases of prenatal appointments or pregnancy-related leaves. An example of which is taking a FMLA leave for a couple of days or weeks due to having severe morning sickness. FMLA only covers those employers who have a minimum of 50 employees and it is a leave that is unpaid. If you want to still get paid during your leave, you can make use of the unused vacation or sick leaves left to get paid too.
The state laws governing pregnancy leaves will vary from different states but there are some states that will require the employer to provide time off for the employee due to her inability to work because of her pregnancy or recovery from child birth. Some state laws also set how long an employee can take her pregnancy leave. To clear this out, you can contact a professional employment lawyer in your area. They know these laws well enough to explain to your rights and how much time you can take off.
The pregnancy leave included in the employer’s policies can vary from a paid or unpaid time off. You just have to make sure that you meet the requirements so that you can take your leave. Some of the requirements might be to file your leave early on or to have a written request. The employers are not really required to provide paid time off for their employees but if they do, they should also make it available for those who want to use it for their pregnancy leave.