What are my maternity leave rights in PA?
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) is a federal law that allows "qualified" employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid parenting, family, or medical leave. Under the Act, among other things, an employee may take an unpaid leave following the birth of a child. Men and women are entitled equally to this leave, but not every worker is qualified. A person must be a full-time government employee, or employee of a company with 50 or more employees, who has worked for the company at least 12 months and at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately prior to taking leave. Typically, an employee may choose, or the employer may require, the use of any accrued PTO for periods of unpaid leave under the FMLA.
When possible, an employee must provide the employer with at least 30 days' notice of the need for the leave) otherwise notice must be given as soon as it is practical). An employer may require medical certification of a health condition and may require periodic reports during the leave of both the employee's status and intent to return to work. Additionally, an employer may require a fitness for duty certification upon return to work.
The employee is not entitled to accrue benefits such as PTO during their leave. Any benefits accrued at the time of the leave, however, stay with the employee. During the leave, the employer must maintain the health benefits the employee was receiving at the time leave began. Also, when an employee returns from leave they are employee is entitled to be restored to the same job the employee left when the leave began. If the same job is not available, the employer must place the employee in an equivalent job with equivalent pay, benefits, duties, and responsibilities.
Additionally, federal law (Title VII), also protects pregnant workers and job applicants from discrimination. Employers may not fire a woman because she is pregnant, take away benefits or accrued seniority because a woman takes maternity leave.