Handling Maternity Leave in the Workplace

Workplaces are made up of very diverse teams, men and women of many ages. As you know, there are times where “Congratulations” are in order because an employee has announced they are expecting. This news is great! Knowing this happens from time to time, it’s good to have a maternity leave policy in place and to make sure everyone is familiar with it & understands it. Need some HR help putting this policy together? Call Kmet Consulting, your one stop HR shop. Keep reading to learn what the Family and Medical Leave Act says about maternity leave for companies and to learn about some things you can do in the workplace to educate your employees about your maternity leave policy.

The Family and Medical Leave Act FMLA (Maternity Leave)

Source: https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs28.pdf

Specifically, in regard to leave entitlement, the FMLA states:

 “Eligible employees may take up to 12 workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for the birth of a son or daughter or placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care.”

Educate Your Employers On:

How and When to Request Maternity Leave

According to the FMLA, you typically must give at least 30 days of notice.

“Employees must comply with their employer’s usual and customary requirements for requesting leave and provide enough information for their employer to reasonably determine whether the FMLA may apply to the leave request. Employees generally must request leave 30 days in advance when the need for leave is foreseeable. When the need for leave is foreseeable less than 30 days in advance or is unforeseeable, employees must provide notice as soon as possible and practicable under the circumstances.”

You can try telling your boss in person first, then following up with an e-mail so you have an electronic trail and written proof that you gave notice, just in case you need to reference this later.

Whether Maternity Leave is Paid or Not

Employers are not required to pay employees who are on maternity leave, they are just required to give the leave itself. Although, some companies may offer vacation pay or disability pay to their pregnant employees. The point here is just to make it known to everyone where your company stands on paid maternity leave. You don’t want anyone being caught off guard at the last minute.

Pregnancy Discrimination

Pregnancy discrimination is real and unfortunate. For example, an employer can’t force a pregnant employee to give notice unless it's completely related back to their job. This news also can’t be used to hold an employee back from a possible job promotion. If you are pregnant and you feel you can continue physically working, your employer may not stop you from working.

Interested in Professional Policy Development for Your Company?

Kmet Consulting specializes in the development of policies and procedures. You need concise, well-written policies that everyone within your company understands and follows. Without written guidelines, a company risks expensive errors, injuries or perhaps even litigation. Developing human resource policies and procedures eliminates uncertainty for employees because it provides them with well-defined guidelines. We are happy to help you with the development and implementation of tailored policies and procedures for your organization. If our HR services can help you, learn more at www.KmetConsulting.com or call us at 877-783-5638.



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