What are some maternity leave laws?


Quick Answer

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, eligible employees are entitled to 12 workweeks per year of unpaid leave to care for or bond with an infant within 12 months of the child's birth, explains the U.S. Department of Labor. The law also applies to adoptions and foster children within 12 months of placement. The employee continues to receive group health coverage and has the right to return to the same job or an equivalent position.

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Full Answer

FMLA laws apply to all public agencies, such as schools and government offices, and private employers with at least 50 employees within 75 miles, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The business must also maintain at least 50 employees for 20 workweeks each year. To be eligible, employees must work for a covered employer for at least one year, which doesn't have to occur in one consecutive period. The employee must also work 1,250 hours within the one-year period before the leave. Both men and women can take a parental leave.

While FMLA laws guarantee a covered leave, the employer or employee has the right to substitute any accrued paid vacation, sickness or family leave for a portion of the parental leave period, notes the U.S. Department of Labor. When using this option, the employer adheres to the agency's normal leave policy.

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