Pregnancy is part and parcel of most women’s life at some time or the other. Working and married women and also men who are planning to expand their families need some leeway over other employees by way of pregnancy leave. The federal and state Government already has a number of rules to safeguard their interest and such pregnant ladies are also disallowed to be discriminated and expelled on grounds of maternity leaves. Hence, the ladies must be clear of their rights and responsibilities as commonly found in the leave policies of their companies, private and public.
Common laws for big companies
The laws for maternity leaves are made by the federal and state government for the bigger companies which have more than 50 employees. Hence, ladies in a small organization must be informed of the rules there that might be different. The laws have enshrined rights for the women employees who have completed a year at a single job and have stated that such women during pregnancy are entitled to 12 weeks of holidays. By unpaid holidays, it means once they resume after 12 weeks, their job and also their job position remain as it is. Women also get benefits of health insurance benefits provided by employers which she will enjoy during the leave period. However, women are required to resume on time, otherwise be ready to shell back the health insurance premiums to the employers on leaving the job post 12 weeks.
Many good companies offer paid pregnancy leave too and some other offer payments for short term disability benefits in case of any kind of complications during pregnancy. In many cases during complication the woman is supported with paid or unpaid leaves up to a year, however job security is assured. Some companies also allow the usage of paid sick leaves to aid the women financially. Also, many companies are open to negotiations in terms of time period of leaves after the child birth in case of c-section or vaginal deliveries. This helps women to be physically and emotionally ready to support the family financially after the period of leaves.
In case of any complications in delivery, there are companies which extend not only financial help but also extend the leave periods too. Hence, keep yourself informed of the related policies as soon as possible before you give the good news to your boss.
Conserve your rights
‘No matter when you want the leaves to start and end, if the employer doesn’t allow unpaid leaves even if you are eligible under FLMA and other provisions, even after completing all formalities of submitting notice, the women have all the rights to contact the labor department of their region if the employer doesn’t understand on reasonable grounds. Filing a case against the employer can be the last resort. Normally women tend to take unpaid leaves from seventh or eighth month onwards depending on health and financial needs. So, if you are pregnant, and are not given any leaves, then you have the right to complain for it.