Some employers mistakenly believe that women who want to usewhen they become pregnant can’t demand . That’s simply not true.
Managers may be confusingprovisions that apply to the time leading up to the birth of a child with those that apply to the time after the child is born (or adopted).
It is true that you can insist mothers (or fathers) take all post-in one full-time block. However, there is no such option while a woman is pregnant. Women may take for normal prenatal care and any “incapacity” during pregnancy.
That can include being approved to work part-time for the duration of gestation.
Recent case: Erika LaBrousse worked for Caribbean Airmail as a compliance analyst. When she became pregnant, her doctor gave her a note that stated her pregnancy was considered “high risk” and she would need accommodations, including a reduced work schedule of no more than 25 hours per week. The same day, she submitted her application forand FMLA leave to begin after she gave birth.
Instead of honoring her request for a reduced work schedule, the company told LaBrousse that no such positions were available. It said she could either take her FMLA leave in a block beginning immediately or lose her job.
She sued, alleging interference with her right to takeleave during pregnancy.
The company argued that she wasn’t entitled to intermittent leave and that it could deny her request under the law.
The court disagreed. It said employers can force employees to take their post-birth leave full time. However, employees are allowed to take time off intermittently before birth. Thus, LaBrousse was entitled to a part-time schedule. (LaBrousse v. Caribbean Airmail, No. 09-23529, SD FL, 2011)
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