There are sets of laws that have been put in place to protect women when they are pregnant and employed. Many women have a lot of questions when it comes to their employment. Will you be given a set time period for your pregnancy? Will your job be protected? Can you be fired? There are a few things pregnant women need to be aware of so they can make sure their rights are fully protected.
The Family Medical Leave Act
For pregnant women, knowing your maternity leave rights is vital. The Family Medical Leave Act was passed in 1993 and applies to companies with at least 50 employees. Those who have worked at least a year with the company and work at least 25 hours a week qualify for taking up to twelve weeks of leave for pregnancy. When you return to work, under the law, you must be returned to employment offering equal benefits. The twelve weeks can be split up or taken all at once.
The FMLA also allows spouses to take leave for work for the care of their pregnant spouse or their newborn baby. It is imperative you are well-versed in the law so you can fully protect your rights as you go through the process.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
Unfortunately, discrimination still occurs against pregnant women. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act was passed in 1978. This act provides women with the same rights as others with medical conditions. This act states the following.
· You cannot be fired because you are pregnant.
· You cannot be forced to take a mandatory leave.
· You must be given modified tasks so you can continue to perform your job safely.
· You are allowed to continue working as long as you can safely and effectively perform your job.
· You are fully guaranteed job security during your leave.
Women need to be aware of this act that was passed to protect their rights as a pregnant woman. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act was put in place to ensure pregnant women are treated fairly in the workplace.
5 Things You Must Know
1. As long as you have worked part-time for at least a year, you qualify for maternity leave.
2. You are required to request maternity leave in writing.
3. Your employer must continue to provide you with insurance, but you must pay your premiums.
4. There are only four states that have government-funded maternity leave and they include New Jersey, California, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.
5. Short-term disability insurance can offer coverage for the partial term of the maternity leave, but it will not cover it all.
Although laws have not been put in place in every state that requires employers to offer paid maternity leave, some employers provide this for the good of their employees. Preparation with savings before medical leave can make this period of time less financially stressful.
Pregnant women need to be aware of the rights they hold and should familiarize themselves with the laws and the policies of their employer. Being informed will help you to protect your rights as you go on maternity leave. Those who have been discriminated against or illegally fired should file a report and consider getting legal help.